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What Is Overdiagnosis and How Can It Hurt Patients?

June 21st, 2017
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, misdiagnoses are far more common than most people realize. In fact, when it comes to instances of medical malpractice, there are more misdiagnoses than there are surgical mistakes or pharmacy errors.




The dangers of a misdiagnosis are obvious. Not only does it prevent a patient from getting the treatment that he or she actually needs, but it may also lead to a risky treatment that causes adverse side effects.

The dangers of an overdiagnosis, on the other hand, are not as obvious. Whereas a misdiagnosis is a wrong diagnosis, an overdiagnosis is a technically correct one; however, it is the diagnosis of a condition that will never cause any issues and that the patient does not need to address.

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care reports that overdiagnoses are dangerous because they can lead to undue psychological stress and unnecessary medical treatment. If you sustained injuries or an illness as a result of an overdiagnosis, turn to a medical malpractice lawyer from The Bowling Law Firm

David A. Bowling has more than three decades of trial experience, and he will help you pursue compensation for the damages you incurred. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in Baton Rouge.

Why Do Overdiagnoses Occur?

Scheduling regular preventative screenings is essential for maintaining your overall health; however, there can be drawbacks to undergoing such precise medical tests. Overdiagnoses occur when a doctor identifies a medical condition that does not require treatment.

According to BioMed Central, the most dangerous consequence of an overdiagnosis is overtreatment. Such cases also divert a practitioner’s attention away from patients who truly need it.

American Grandparents Association reports that there are three main kinds of overdiagnosis. These are:

The detection of a disease or condition that will never cause noticeable symptoms;

The gradual extension of the definition of a disease so more people are diagnosed with it; and

The identification of a normal experience, such as symptoms associated with menopause or aging, as a particular disease.

What Kinds of Conditions Do Doctors Overdiagnose?

For various reasons, there are some conditions that doctors are more likely to overdiagnose than others. These include chronic kidney disease, low testosterone, pre-dementia, and thyroid cancer.

You can protect yourself from both misdiagnoses and overdiagnoses by seeking a second opinion. If your doctor tells you something that does not feel right, do not be afraid to seek a second opinion from another physician.

If you sustained injuries or an illness after receiving treatment for a condition that did not require medical attention, an attorney from The Bowling Law Firm can help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Baton Rouge. To learn more about medical negligence claims in Louisiana, visit the USAttorneys website

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