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Medical Diagnostic Mistakes Are the Primary Basis for Malpractice Claims

  Alan Fuchsberg  |  September 13, 2016  |  

Diagnostic errors and omissions may be the single most dangerous patient safety issue. The estimated number of patients who suffer from these errors each year in the United States is between 80,000 and 160,000. As a result of diagnostic mistakes, patients suffer from delays in treatment or do not receive any treatment at all.  Typically, treatment is either not provided or is provided for the wrong condition, doing the patient little good.

Out of 350,706 paid medical malpractice claims in the United States between 1986 and 2013, it was found that diagnostic errors were the leading cause, with 28.6 percent of claims using this as a basis. The errors also accounted for the highest number of total payouts at 35.2 percent. These errors result in disability or death almost twice as often as the other categories, which included surgical mistakes and medication overdoses.

In most cases, diagnostic errors are missed diagnoses rather than delayed or wrong diagnoses. That could mean living with cancer longer than you realized, leading to a terminal condition, or having a cold turn into life-threatening pneumonia when an antibiotic would have prevented it.

You don’t have to settle for the poor care you received, and there are legal options to help you. If you think you have been injured by a diagnostic error or omission, or if you’ve had a loved one that may have suffered one, our experienced New York medical malpractice attorneys will help you evaluate your case.   Contact us today.

Data Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Diagnostic Errors More Common, Costly And Harmful Than Treatment Mistakes,” accessed Sep. 13, 2016

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