According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75 million Americans suffer from hypertension, which is more commonly known as high blood pressure. This works out to about one out of every three adults, and the cost of treatment is approximately $46 billion a year. High blood pressure is usually diagnosed by determining the diastolic and systolic blood pressure of a patient.
If people’s high and low numbers exceed a certain level, they are considered to have high blood pressure. However, it appears that many people have been diagnosed with this condition that do not actually have it.
The apparent cause of misdiagnosis is the lack of appropriate use of manual tools for measuring blood pressure or using manual tools instead of automatic ones. Accurate measurements can be obtained from manual tools, but only if medical practitioners take care when they use them. Automatic tools tend to be far more accurate because they take a number of measurements. Additionally, automatic tools can reduce false positives associated with increases in stress due to being in a medical setting.
While most people think of a misdiagnosis as an issue of a medical condition being incorrectly identified, sometimes it involves diagnosing a person who doesn’t have a particular medical condition with one. In either case, a wrong diagnosis can have severe consequences. Individuals should not be prescribed medications that they do not need because of the risk of severe side effects from many treatments and the fact that some medications can be harmful to people without a particular condition. People who have been harmed in such a manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss their legal options.