Misdiagnosis a major threat of medical malpractice

When people in New York enter the hospital, the last thing they want to think about is the danger of medical errors or a misdiagnosis. However, it can be important to keep the risk of a mistaken diagnosis in mind since diagnostic errors were the primary reason for medical malpractice claims being filed across the country between 2013 and 2017. In a report produced by a malpractice insurance company, statistics showed that a full one-third of all the claims that were made related to doctor or hospital error in diagnosing the patient.

┬ČThese issues include the failure to diagnose a serious disease, leading to a worsened medical condition, or an improper diagnosis that led to mistaken and sometimes harmful treatments. Other types of medical issues also spurred a range of malpractice complaints, including surgery or procedure errors, causing 24 percent of complaints, and medical management issues, leading to 14 percent of all claims. A total of 10,618 malpractice cases were reviewed as part of the study.

The insurer found that around half of the claims concerning diagnostic errors were due to poor decision-making or medical judgment by the doctors and health professionals involved. The number and percentage of other types of claims have declined over time while the number of diagnostic cases has remained firm. Malpractice claims related to diagnostic errors have often been serious. In fact, 36 percent of the complaints were filed after the death of a patient.

People who have received misdiagnoses or had their doctors fail to diagnose a serious medical condition can suffer devastating consequences as a result. When serious diseases like cancer go untreated due to diagnostic errors, patients can suffer a severely worsened medical condition. Individuals who have been wrongly diagnosed can consult with a medical malpractice attorney who can review their case and advise them about the steps they can take.


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