Types of Misdiagnoses That Result in Medical Malpractice

March 27th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

misdiagnosis, medical malpractice, Westport attorney, Westport malpractice lawyer, It can be difficult to determine whether or not you qualify for a medical malpractice suit. Medical malpractice, however, is an epidemic in America—according to the Journal of the American Medical Association and as reported by Forbes, “medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer.” While it might be difficult to prove medical malpractice, payouts for these types of suits still totaled over $3 billion in 2012, amounting to one average payout nationwide every 43 minutes. This statistic can be misleading. According to Forbes, “only 15 percent of the personal-injury lawsuits filed annually involve medical-malpractice claims, and more than 80 percent of those lawsuits end with no payment whatsoever to the injured patient or their survivors.”

At its worst, medical malpractice brings to mind tools left in patients’ bodies, or infectious, deadly diseases transmitted because hospital staff forgot to wash hands. Yet the leading cause of medical malpractice is actually much more benign. According to a study out of Johns Hopkins last spring and as reported in the Village Voice, more than 30 percent of all medical malpractice payouts were for misdiagnosis. The lead researcher of the study said in a press release that, “this is more evidence that diagnostic errors could easily be the biggest patient safety and medical malpractice problem in the United States.”

To combat this, in 2006, according to the Wall Street Journal, Kaiser Permanente joined forces with the Veterans Administration to promote “system wide initiatives aimed at the most common lapses in the diagnostic process.” The most common instances of misdiagnosis arise from incidents that include (but are not limited to):

  • The creation of proper follow-up care plans;
  • Failure to obtain complete medical histories;
  • Failure to perform physical exams adequately;
  • Failure to order the correct type of tests. 

If you suspect that you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Westport, the most important step is to seek the counsel of an attorney. Contact the law office of Richard H. Raphael for a free consultation today.

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