A 2019 report from The Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety revealed startling patient statistics. The Center found that more than 60,000 patients in Massachusetts had suffered from medical errors. Misdiagnosis can lead to harm or even death for patients. Claims of medical malpractice can also arise following a misdiagnosis.
Thousands of deaths occur each year in United States hospitals. And it’s estimated that several of those deaths are related to medical errors and misdiagnosis. Here are the top three conditions misdiagnosed the most often.
Vascular conditions affect the veins and arteries. The body needs healthy veins and arteries to move blood throughout the body. Any condition that interrupts this cycle can damage the heart muscle. The damage can cause irregular heartbeat, palpitations, heart attack, chest pain and more.
Sepsis can result from a misdiagnosed infection. Sepsis occurs when the body has an extreme response to an infection. The longer an infection goes untreated, the more likely sepsis will occur. The condition is life-threatening because it causes a deadly chain reaction in the body. A patient will experience impaired blood flow to organs, including the heart, brain and kidneys.
Early cancer detection improves a patient’s survival rate. Prompt treatment means the difference between life and death. A missed or delayed cancer diagnosis can result in a medical malpractice claim.
An injured patient must prove medical malpractice. They must have evidence that the doctor was negligent and that it caused damage. It’s believed that most instances of misdiagnoses result from clinical judgment failures. And that better teamwork, education and access to technology can improve the situation.