Mistakes made by doctors, nurses, and health care providers injure thousands of patients throughout the United States each year. In some situations, even the most minor mistakes can have devastating consequences. According to a recently published article in the Wall Street Journal and a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, medical malpractice leads to permanent injury or death for as many as 160,000 people each year. Medical malpractice is also the leading cause of all malpractice claims.
According to Johns Hopkins researchers, diagnostic errors – which can include failures to diagnose injuries or illnesses and misdiagnoses – are some of the most common forms of medical malpractice. When misdiagnoses are made in emergency settings or result in no treatment or inappropriate treatment, the results can be devastating.
One 2013 study of 190 physicians resulted in a total of 68 missed diagnoses, the most common of which included:
- Congestive heart failure
- Acute kidney failure
- Urinary tract infection
Misdiagnoses can occur for a number of reasons. The same study found that almost four out of every five diagnostic errors occurred as a result of problems with:
- Ordering diagnostic exams
- Reviews of a patient's medical history
When any avoidable error is made as the result of a medical professional's negligence or failure to uphold a certain standard of care, they can be held liable for the damages patients and / or their families suffer. Because medical malpractice claims involve technical medical information and challenging legal elements, these claims should be handled by an experienced attorney.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our legal team is prepared to help victims and families understand their right to compensation. If you or your loved one has recently suffered harm as the result of errors made by a health care practitioner, you can learn more about your claim and how our firm can help by calling (713) 364-0915 for a free consultation.