Diagnosis errors account for more than 35 percent of all medical malpractice claim payouts, according to a study published by BMJ Quality and Safety. In malpractice suits involving wrongful death of the patient, a diagnosis mistake was involved 41 percent of the time.
The above figures provide a telling story: Diagnosis errors are the most prevalent type of medical mistake resulting in serious injury or death.
Diagnostic errors are particularly injurious because of the consequences they often bring. If a patient doesn't get a second opinion, or the physician doesn't correct his or her mistake, then the patient can go weeks, months or years without receiving the proper treatment. In many cases, this delay causes permanent disability or death.
As physicians already know, it's crucial to make a timely and correct diagnosis. Failing to diagnose progressive conditions, such as cancer or leukemia, has a profound impact on the outlook of the patient. Misdiagnosing patients can send them on an incorrect treatment regime that unnecessarily subjects them to dangerous side effects.
If you or a family member has suffered serious harm because of a diagnostic error, a skilled medical malpractice attorney can help. Diagnosis-related lawsuits often involve an array of complicated issues, so it's crucial to find an experienced misdiagnosis lawyer.
McKeen & Associates, PC, is a national law firm that adeptly represents victims of diagnoses errors. Based in Detroit, Michigan, McKeen & Associates has a staff of attorneys that focuses heavily on medical malpractice litigation.
Source: The New York Times, "Why Doctors Are Sued," Nicholas Bakalar, April 29, 2013