You or a loved one in Pennsylvania may have been misdiagnosed and harmed as a result, in which case you’re not alone. The journal Diagnosis has published the results of a study showing how diagnostic errors, which are the most common of all serious medical errors, are behind one third of malpractice cases involving death or a permanent disability.
The most misdiagnosed conditions
The study was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and analyzed over 55,000 malpractice claims from the Comparative Benchmarking System. Out of those claims that involved a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, 74.1% fell into one of the “big three” categories: infections (13.5%), vascular events (22.8%) and cancer (37.8%).
Sepsis was the most commonly misdiagnosed infection, Among vascular events, stroke was at the top, and among cancers, it was lung cancer. A total of 71.2% of diagnostic errors occurred in emergency departments and other ambulatory settings.
Failures in clinical judgment to blame
Researchers found that over 85% of malpractice claims, and 80% of cancer-related claims in particular, alleged a failure in clinical judgment. In more than half of claims, the one who committed the error was a general care physician. Altogether, the claims, which spanned a 10-year period, ended with payouts totaling $1.8 billion.
For the victims of medical negligence
Doctors may become negligent and fail to live up to the objective standards that have been set. If you were the victim of such negligence, you could pursue a medical malpractice claim, though you may want a lawyer on account of the difficulty of the procedure.
The lawyer may have an independent investigation of the matter conducted and then take on all negotiations for you. You may ultimately be compensated for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.