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Medical misdiagnosis accounts for many malpractice claims

There are of course many ways in which someone who lives in Western Pennsylvania can suffer an injury while in the care of medical professionals. While surgical errors or medical errors may be the first thing that comes to mind for many, this is not the most common reason that medical malpractice lawsuits are filed. In reality, misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose account for the most medical malpractice claims.

This conclusion is supported by a study conducted by individuals from Johns Hopkins University that was recently published in BMJ Quality and Safety. The study culled information from the National Practitioner Data Bank regarding medical malpractice cases filed over the course of the last 25 years. In total, 350,706 claims were studied.

Based on the study, the researchers who conducted the study surmised that between 80,000 and 160,000 patients may have been harmed as a result of issues with a diagnosis. In the worst cases the result was death.

While these injuries can cause serious issues that cannot be undone, fortunately the option to file a medical malpractice lawsuit exists. As people who have faced a misdiagnoses or delayed diagnosis are likely well aware, these issues are not always immediately obvious. It can sometimes take a while to determined that such an incident has occurred. This can make establishing a case difficult. For those who do move forward with a medical malpractice claim, it may be worth it. When successful, the damages secured can make a big difference in the way the injured person is able to live his or her life.

Source: Huffington Post, "Diagnostic Errors More Common In Medical Malpractice Claims Than Surgical, Medication Errors: Study," April 24, 2013

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