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Diagnostic errors affect nearly 1 in 10 patients with “Big Three”

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a medical misdiagnosis in Toledo, Ohio, then know that there is a way to seek compensation for the resulting losses. First, it’s important to understand that many conditions are the subject of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis with three standing out in particular: cancers, major vascular events and infections. These are known as the “Big Three” in the medical field.

A study led by Johns Hopkins University has looked at 15 conditions, five under each of the Big Three categories, and calculated the rate at which patients are the victims of a diagnostic error. The results, which were published in the journal Diagnosis, are as follows.

Nearly 1 in 10 patients misdiagnosed

A total of 91,755 patients were analyzed, their data being pulled from 28 previous studies. The 15 conditions were chosen for being the most misdiagnosed under each category. Among cancers, researchers focused on melanoma and lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. The vascular events included stroke and myocardial infarction or heart attack. Infections included pneumonia, meningitis and spinal abscesses.

It turns out that 9.6% of patients were misdiagnosed. The individual misdiagnosis rates differed with the lowest being among MI patients (2.2%) and the highest among spinal abscess patients (62.1%). This makes sense because spinal abscesses are rare and heart attacks are common. Moreover, doctors have made it a priority to quickly diagnose heart attacks.

Serious harm for 1 in 20 misdiagnosed patients

An aggregate mean of 5.2% of the misdiagnosed patients suffered serious harm as a result of the error. For MI patients, the rate was 1.2%, and for spinal abscess patients, it was 35.6%. In addition, many delayed diagnoses stemmed from an initial misdiagnosis. This was true for 1 in 4 lung cancer cases, for example.

A lawyer with a personalized approach

It can be hard for the victims of a doctor’s negligence to understand medical malpractice law, so if you intend to file a claim for your or a loved one’s injuries, you may want a lawyer to assist. The lawyer may give your case the personal attention it needs to be successful.