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What’s the Difference Between a Wrong Diagnosis and a Miss?

Two things can go awry when a doctor is trying to figure out why someone is ill; a wrong diagnosis or a misdiagnosis.

To the person who was on the receiving end of the wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis, often a mistake is a mistake, no matter what you call it. In reality, these are two different things. A wrong diagnosis is a total miss that may result in serious consequences because the real sickness is not dealt with and it continues on its course, possibly causing death.

On the other hand, misdiagnosis is like being half right but for the wrong reasons. Misdiagnosis may include a wrong diagnosis, an incomplete diagnosis, or an improper or incorrect medical intervention or treatment. I see this quite a lot in the course of my practice as a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

You don’t have to look too far to find statistics about how many wrongful deaths there are every year in the US as the result of misdiagnosis. Would you believe this type of error accounts for approximately 44,000 to 98,000 deaths? And that is just deaths, there are also at least one million injuries caused by the same thing.

By now you’re likely wondering how on earth a doctor could wrongly diagnose or miss diagnosing someone accurately. The simple answer is that they are human, and being human means they may be inexperienced, are trying something new or experimental, or there is a communication problem with the patient.

These aren’t the only problems that dog the medical field when it comes to making a diagnosis, or not, as the case may be. Count in sleep deprivation, lousy handwriting, poor nurse to doctor ratios, and giving a patient two or more medications that don’t mix well.

You could likely make up your own list if you have had any experience with being misdiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed. It happens, and sometimes, no harm, no foul, but when bad things happen, it needs to be dealt with promptly by talking to a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

Think about going to the hospital to get well and then the worst thing happens; you get a whole lot worse and no one seems to know why. Or, you are given treatments or medications that make your condition even more awful to bear. Add into this mixture the real possibility of wrong surgeries, wrong medications and other things too horrid to think about and you have a recipe for disaster or death. Did you know that over 180,000 people die every year due to medical errors? That’s something to think about, isn’t it?

If you have been wrongly diagnosed or misdiagnosed and lived to tell about it, you might want to consult with a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer to find out what you can do to address your losses.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit

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