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One in Six Patients Report Getting Wrong Diagnosis

September 29, 2010 | 38,796 views
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prescriptionA new survey found that nearly one in six patients believed their physician had made a wrong diagnosis or a treatment error. Roughly one in seven had changed doctors as a result.

In some cases, the doctor had not actually done anything wrong. But other cases suggested true errors -- one woman said her doctor had wanted to remove her breast due to a swollen lymph node, but it turned out to be the result of a bacterial infection.

Reuters reports:

“Indeed, U.S. data published in 1991 suggested as many as 98,000 deaths per year might be due to medical errors. In the new survey, based on almost 1,700 patients at seven clinics, eight percent said they had experienced ‘a lot’ or ‘severe’ harm from the perceived mistake in care.”

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I posted this article not to point out that individual doctors are making errors--this is only a small part of a much bigger problem. Rather, this is a reminder that the entire modern health care system is responsible for promoting unnecessary tests, dangerous drugs, and questionable medical procedures.

The end result can be horrifyingly problematic. So there really aren't any surprises here.

The only surprise is that so many people are still holding on to the idea that the conventional paradigm can help them get well and stay healthy. It shows that if nothing else, human beings are not short on faith, despite proof of insurmountable odds. And that is actually encouraging!

This diligent faith just needs to be redirected toward safer and more effective strategies... Facilitating this change is, and will continue to be, a substantial part of my vision.

One in Six Patients Believe Their Doctor Made a Mistake in Their Treatment

According to this latest survey, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, nearly 16 percent of patients queried in North Carolina believed that their physician had made a mistake.

Just over 13 percent reported they'd received an incorrect diagnosis, and 12.5 percent said they'd received the wrong treatment.

As a result, one in seven patients had opted to change physicians.

Granted, trust between doctor and patient is important, but to what extent you can improve your odds of not being misdiagnosed or mistreated, simply by trading doctors, is debatable.

The frequency of medical mistakes is just so high and many of the conventional tests, drugs and treatments so dangerous in and of themselves, that simply finding a doctor you trust may not be enough to protect you from undue harm.

The entire paradigm of conventional medicine is flawed. It's not really the fault of particular individuals. Finding a doctor that isn't trapped within this paradigm requires effort on your part.

Medical Errors and Prescription Drugs are the Leading Cause of Death in US!

Ten years ago, Professor Bruce Pomerance of the University of Toronto concluded that properly prescribed and correctly taken pharmaceutical drugs were the fourth leading cause of death in the US.

More recently, Johns Hopkins Medical School refined this research and discovered that medical errors and prescription drugs together may actually be the LEADING cause of death.

Think about this... the primary form of "health care" and treatment actually kills more people than any disease plaguing our society... Sobering, isn't it?

Back in 2004, a national survey sent to head and neck surgeons revealed that 45 percent of specialists had committed medical errors in their practice in the preceding six months, affecting both pediatric and adult patients. Of those errors, 37 percent had caused "major injury or harm," and 4 percent were fatal.

More recently, a study investigating the prevalence of preventable medical mistakes found that between 2006 and 2008, there were nearly 1 million incidents among Medicare patients alone, and 1 in 10 were deadly.

In dollars and cents, these medical mistakes cost the health care system $8.9 billion.

Is Your Health Safe in the Hands of the U.S. Medical Care System?

The obvious answer is, no.

The U.S. health system is in a downward spiral with no indications of slowing down or reversing. I've been warning people about this tragic state of affairs for more than two decades.

Every measurable index indicates that despite the ever-increasing amounts of money invested, your chances of achieving optimal health through this system is only getting worse.

The U.S. now ranks LAST out of 19 countries for unnecessary deaths -- deaths that could have been avoided through timely and effective medical care.

For example, more than 2 million Americans are now affected by hospital-acquired infections every year, and 100,000 people die as a result.

In essence, what we have here is a trend of health care costs rising, mistakes increasing, and pharmaceutical drug-induced side effects and deaths skyrocketing.

Need to Go to a Hospital? Do Your Homework …

In the event that you must go to a hospital, you should know that all are not created equal. Granted, if you're in a serious accident you may not have much of a choice, but you certainly have options if you're going in for planned surgery.

You can find patient-safety ratings at hospitals across the United States from the HealthGrades Web site. Their 2010 HealthGrades report found major discrepancies between the hospitals at the top of the list and those at the bottom.

The hospitals ranked among the top five percent experienced an impressive 43 percent fewer medical errors, compared to the hospitals that performed poorly.

It's also worth noting that deaths attributed to medication errors rise by as much as 25 percent above normal in the first few days of every month, because there often isn't enough staff to handle the beginning-of-the-month spike in prescriptions.

Being admitted on a Friday has also been linked to longer hospital stays, so if you can time your stay to avoid these periods, you may be better off.

You CAN Avoid Becoming a Statistic!

This article will hopefully serve as yet another major wake-up call to take control of your own health.

Making sure your doctor listens to you and provides comforting and accurate care is a good start, but it's not going to be the complete answer you're looking for, unless you find a holistically-minded physician who can teach you how to achieve and maintain good health rather than throwing one band-aid after the other your way.

Please know that you CAN take control of your health. In fact, it's not only your right, but your responsibility. 

My site is chockfull of free comprehensive recommendations and can serve as an excellent starting point. The tools I provide on this site will help you to reduce your reliance on the broken health care system.

The guidelines that follow are more basic strategies to live by; strategies that will boost your health and well-being naturally to keep you OUT of the hospital and enjoying life!

  1. Address your emotional traumas and manage your stress
  2. Optimize your vitamin D levels
  3. Drink plenty of clean water
  4. Limit your exposure to toxins
  5. Consume healthy fats
  6. Eat a healthy diet that's right for your nutritional type (paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)
  7. Eat plenty of raw food
  8. Optimize your insulin and leptin levels
  9. Exercise – I also encourage you to incorporate Peak Fitness exercises to really maximize your health benefits
  10. Get plenty of good sleep

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