Law Office of Brian K. Mackintosh, JD, PhD
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Medical malpractice: The importance of additional opinions

When you feel sick or suffer a serious injury in Honolulu, one of the first things you do is go to your doctor or a medical facility for diagnosis and treatment. Due to the extensive education, training and high level of expertise they have, you implicitly trust physicians, nurses and other medical personnel with your life. Regardless of the type of care you feel you need or how long you have been a patient of a particular doctor, it is wise to take extra precautions to avoid becoming a medical malpractice victim. 

One action that can significantly reduce the likelihood of negligence and mistakes in your care is for you to seek out additional opinions from other experts in the field. Most errors that occur in the health care field involve diagnostic errors

Diagnostic errors are increasingly common 

Many medical conditions have similar symptoms. Arriving at the right diagnosis often involves physicians having to order countless diagnostic procedures. Even then, those procedures can provide results that lead doctors to arrive at an incorrect or a delayed diagnosis. A wrong or an untimely diagnosis paves the way for patients to receive the wrong treatments, which increases the level of danger to their health. 

The dangers of not getting additional opinions 

Diagnostic errors are one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. They are gateway issues that often have a cascading negative impact on patients. Besides not knowing what is really wrong, patients continue to experience a decline in their health, end up taking the wrong medications, undergo unnecessary diagnostic procedures and have a higher risk of developing complications that can irrevocably change or claim their lives. 

Getting the professional opinions of medical experts outside of the ones normally seen can help stem the number of wrong, missed and delayed diagnoses. Though the process of getting subsequent consultations may seem time exhaustive, the extra effort can save patient lives, reduce their overall medical expenses and lead to a better recovery and outcome.

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