Hilley & Frieder, P.C.
Providing Legal Services In Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Workers’ Compensation And More

Misdiagnosis a factor in more than a third of malpractice claims

As patients, we rely on medical professionals to accurately assess what’s wrong. We expect a timely and accurate diagnosis — and rightly so. The correct diagnosis is the foundation of an effective treatment plan. Medical professionals and institutions are supposed to be equipped with the right training, expertise and tools to get to the root of the problem.

Misdiagnosis, it turns out, is far more common than many people realize. According to one recent study, it was a factor in more than one-third of medical negligence claims where the patient suffered serious or fatal effects. Overall, diagnosis errors amounted to nearly 30 percent of payouts in malpractice claims.

The most common misdiagnoses

Three conditions make up nearly 75 percent of misdiagnosis cases:

  • Cancer
  • Infection
  • Heart attack/stroke

In hospitals and emergency rooms, infections, heart attacks and strokes are most likely to get missed. Cancers often go undiagnosed in clinics and other outpatient settings.

How it happens

There isn’t an easy answer to solving the misdiagnosis problem. In emergency rooms, overcrowding and understaffing are contributing factors. Patients often get sent home after a cursory examination — only to suffer life-threatening or fatal cardiovascular events after discharge.

When it comes to cancer misdiagnoses, even more complex factors are at play. Outpatient clinics may not have the proper tools or specialists to identify rarer diagnoses. Mistakes in interpreting test results can lead to confusion. And because time is such a critical factor in treating cancer, delays can be catastrophic.

Holding providers and institutions accountable

Victims of medical negligence — including diagnostic errors — deserve justice. The legal system plays a critical role in holding providers accountable. Medical malpractice claims have a powerful impact by compensating victims and spurring measures to reduce the risk of preventable errors in the first place.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Send Us An Email

Call Now for a Free Consultation

There is never a fee to talk to a lawyer at Hilley & Frieder about your case. Call 404-233-6200 or complete our contact form for a free and confidential consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Review Us

Office Location
5855 Sandy Springs Circle
Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30328

Toll Free: 877-938-2300
Phone: 404-233-6200
Fax: 404-233-3430
Atlanta Law Office Map

Contact Us