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Perhaps the biggest reason people go to the doctor is to get treatment for whatever is ailing them. For some Massachusetts patients, an appointment with a physician can also be preventative. If a there is a failure to make an accurate diagnosis regarding certain conditions, there could be additional medical problems to bear. As one study points out, a missed diagnosis can set off a chain of unfortunate events.

Nearly 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, which is a condition that causes threatening spikes in blood sugar. As those levels rise, there is an increased risk that the patient could suffer a heart attack. Even more frightening is that roughly 7 million people have diabetes but do not know it.

The American Heart Association studied nearly 3,000 heart attack victims across the country who were unaware that they had diabetes. In those cases, physicians filed to diagnose 69 percent of the patients with diabetes following the heart attack, though a simple study of a patient’s levels would have triggered the diagnosis. The study’s author noted that identifying and treating diabetes can prevent people from having heart attacks and additional complications. More than 900,000 people have a heart attack every year, and in half of those instances, there are no warning signs.

If a physician misses a diagnosis, the results can be tragic. It is important for people who have suffered a worsened condition as a result of a negligent doctor to contact an attorney. A lawyer can help patients file a lawsuit to mitigate the expenses associated with increased medical care or the emotional distress of pain and suffering.

Source: Medical Daily, “Diabetes May Cause Heart Attacks When Doctors Fail to Diagnose the Disease,” Samantha Olson, June 3, 2014