Patients assume that the diagnoses they receive from their doctors are correct. However, a study published by Fierce Health Care indicates that 1 out of 3 medical malpractice suits that result in serious injury or death are the product of a misdiagnosis. Pennsylvania residents need to be aware of the risks associated with wrong diagnoses from the health care providers that they trust with their lives.
How prevalent is the problem?
The same study reported that anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 deaths occur within U.S. hospitals every year due to misdiagnoses. An additional 12 million patients receive misdiagnoses from their physicians in a primary care setting with 33% causing serious injury or death. In total, these mistakes resulted in total expenditures of over $1 billion in medical malpractice payouts over the course of a single decade.
The Big Three
The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine broke down the details of roughly 55,000 medical malpractice claims to try to discover any recurring trends. Its findings indicated that a staggering 74.1% of medical malpractice suits fell under three basic categories, which they labeled as “The Big Three,” and they include:
- Cancer (37.8%)
- Vascular events (22.8%)
- Infection (13.5%)
Where do the mistakes happen?
While there is a large number of missed diagnoses in primary care facilities, studies indicate that a staggering 71.2% of such errors occur in ambulatory settings, such as outpatient clinics and emergency rooms. These malpractice suits typically fall under the categories of infections and vascular events.
Someone who has sustained injuries or other health issues that resulted from a missed diagnosis is encouraged to contact an attorney familiar with medical malpractice law. A lawyer can thoroughly review the details of his or her clients’ medical interactions with their physicians and help them recover the money that is owed to them.