We are constantly watching news from the medical field in an effort to keep the public informed about any major changes or risks.
A recent article from Medical News Today revealed some startling statistics about medical malpractice.
According to the piece, almost 160,000 deaths per year in the United States are a result of misdiagnosing patients or making diagnostic errors. This is obviously one of the most costly and dangerous mistakes a physician can make.
Over the past 25 years, most malpractice claim payouts were due to diagnostic errors.
Between 1986 and 2010, almost $38.8 billion in diagnosis-related malpractice claim payouts were won nationally.
Cases that involved serious neurologic harm, like brain damage, showed the highest claim payments, on average.
These numbers show that diagnostic errors are likely the largest patient safety and medical malpractice issue in the country.
Diagnostic errors are usually identified through some sort of additional testing or finding, and the errors typically result in a failed attempt to treat the patient’s condition.
These types of errors are often underreported, and under-recognized, because they’re difficult to keep track of and measure. Surgical errors are more evident, and therefore grab the bulk of malpractice attention.
As technology and processes improve, there will be progress made in term of diagnostic error frequency. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to fix the problem, as they are more difficult to identify and are more diverse than other issues pertaining to patient safety.
If you or a loved one have suffered an irreparable harm or injury due to a diagnostic error, be sure to contact an experienced malpractice attorney. This is a delicate and life-altering situation, so be sure to seek the support and compensation you need and deserve.