Wrong Diagnosis Leading Cause for Catastrophic Malpractice Payouts

Each year nearly 12 million adults are misdiagnosed during outpatient care. In half of those cases, the misdiagnosis potentially results in severe harm that warrants medical malpractice awards. In fact, researchers recently reviewed all pain related malpractice claims made between 2004 and 2010. The researchers identified key risk factors for catastrophic payouts – claims for over $1million. The results indicated that misdiagnosis represents 8 percent of all paid malpractice claims and that the greatest percentage of catastrophic payouts occur from errors in diagnosis. The authors made note that healthcare systems in the United States must focus more resources that ensure diagnostic accuracy to improve patient safety and lower medical malpractice awards.

Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis

While a slight distinction exists between these terms, the result still translates to over 6 million patients suffering harm. Misdiagnosis describes an occurrence when a doctor informs you that you have a particular condition or illness, however the doctor’s information is incorrect. Your doctor might diagnose you with influenza, but you really Lyme disease, for example. Missed diagnosis, on the other hand, describes an instance where your doctor fails to provide a diagnosis. This usually means you do not receive treatment or the treatment is inaccurate.

How you can get an accurate diagnosis

Here are some tips on what you can do, as a patient, to improve your chances of being diagnosed accurately:

  • Explain your medical history thoroughly and clearly to your doctor and in chronological order. Your physician needs to hear the clues.
  • Share details of your family’s medical history, such as a sibling with cancer, this information may be helpful for the doctor to take into consideration.
  • Follow up and be sure to get your test results – no news is not necessarily good news.

Also be aware of the symptoms doctors most frequently miss or misdiagnose. The top aliments that were actually symptoms of a more serious condition include coughing, shortness of breath and abdominal pain.

Safeguarding just compensation for your loss

Be sure you get every dollar from your insurance claim that you are due from those who were responsible for your injury or your family member’s death, . If you due to inferior health care or lost a loved one because of mistakes made by a health care provider or facility, contact a Florida medical malpractice attorney  to represent you. You may be eligible for compensation to cover your medical bills, loss of income and pain and suffering. We represent medical malpractice victims throughout Florida and nationwide.

If you have any questions on this blog or need information on other personal injury queries, please call the Law offices of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath located in West Palm Beach at 1-800 4-RIGHTS (1-800- 474-4487) We welcome your call and look forward to helping you.