By Joe Messa
Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys reveal that medical malpractice payments in the United States most commonly result from missed or incorrect diagnoses, according to a study that examined more than 350,000 claims made from 1986 to 2010. Researchers say that the claims associated with death and disabilities were more likely to have occurred from diagnosis-related errors. They also noted that most diagnostic errors occurred in outpatients. However, misdiagnosis of a patient who was hospitalized was more likely to result in death.
The study was authored by Dr. David Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore. It first appeared online in BMJ Quality & Safety.
As many as 160,000 patients suffer permanent injuries or death as a result of a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or a medical professional’s failure to diagnose a serious medical condition, researchers estimate. These errors are preventable and must be improved to decrease the harm that is done to patients when they occur.
Experts recommend measuring and tracking diagnostic errors in addition to improving communication between medical professionals and their patients. In some cases, errors can be caught at the outset of the patient care process by physicians taking the time to ask additional questions, confirming a patient’s medical history, reviewing abnormal test results or ensuring that the patient understands instructions for a prescribed treatment plan. Patients are also encouraged to keep all follow up appointments and to talk with their doctor about details that are unclear to them or information that they feel is inaccurate in their medical chart.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling medical malpractice cases involving failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis of a medical condition resulting in serious injury or death. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More