A new study, published in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics reveals that more than half of pediatricians responding to an anonymous survey admitted to making at least one misdiagnosis a month. Slightly less than half the doctors also admitted that they make at least one mistake a year that results in harm to their patient.
One of the most common mistakes committed by the pediatricians in the study was the misdiagnosis of viral infections as bacterial infections. This can lead to the child being prescribed a course of antibiotics that will do nothing to help improve his condition.
Another common error committed by the pediatricians in the study was the failure to recognize the side effects of medication and distinguish them from underlying illness.
I’ve previously blogged about research suggesting that doctors who are better listeners are less likely to commit medical malpractice. If this is true, it may help explain why pediatricians make so many misdiagnoses. It is difficult to be a good listener when your patient (because of her young age) lacks the verbal capabilities to describe what her symptoms are, when they began, etc.
It would be interesting to see this data broken out by age of patient and see whether misdiagnoses were more common among the pediatricians’ younger patients than their teen and pre-teen patients.
If you believe that you have been hurt by medical malpractice, or some other form of negligence, and you desire the services of a Boston personal injury attorney, call The Law Office of Alan H. Crede at (617)973-6434 for a free consultation.