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Study Finds High Rate of Diagnostic Medical Errors

A recent report by the Institute of Medicine indicates that diagnostic medical errors are much more common than people think. In fact, the report concludes that most people will experience at least one incorrect or delayed diagnosis during the course of their lifetime.

By one estimate, one in 20 adults seeking outpatient care receives a misdiagnosis each year. According to the report, medical providers are not required to report diagnostic errors. As a result, the report concludes that medical misdiagnosis has received far too little publicity, and immediate improvements are needed to reduce the risk of being improperly or belatedly diagnosed. The report offers recommendations for reducing diagnostic errors. One is better communication between a patient’s multiple health care providers. Another suggests that patients should not be afraid to ask questions of their doctors and be proactive in their medical care.

Medical Misdiagnosis Is Only One Type of Medical Malpractice

When health care providers make errors in the treatment of their patients, these errors can be classified as medical negligence. Another term for medical negligence is medical malpractice. There are many types of medical malpractice.

We have all heard of the surgeon who leaves a piece of surgical equipment inside a patient on the operating table. We have also all heard of the doctor who operates on the left arm or leg, when it is the right appendage that requires surgery. But many forms of medical malpractice are more subtle, although the consequences can be just as grave. Diagnosing a patient with the wrong illness, or missing the early signs of an illness that benefits from early detection and diagnosis, are two types of medical malpractice that receive far less attention than the highly publicized examples above.

Doctors commit medical malpractice when they fail to meet accepted standards of treatment, and the result is injury or death for a patient. Two examples of providing treatment are prescribing medication or ordering a test. But treatment can also mean diagnosing a patient’s illness correctly and promptly. In other words, if a doctor’s failure to understand the significance of certain symptoms or order a diagnostic test in a timely fashion causes an error or delay in the diagnosis of a medical condition, and that error causes an injury to a patient, the doctor may have committed medical malpractice.

Just as patients injured as a result of a botched surgery are entitled to compensation, so too are patients injured due to a medical misdiagnosis. Furthermore, if a patient dies due to a medical misdiagnosis, the patient’s family may be entitled to damages as well.

Have You Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice cases are complicated. You may be unsure if you have suffered because of a doctor’s careless mistake. At Moll Law Group, we have the experience and knowledge to answer all of your questions, and we understand even the most complex injuries and conditions. If you or a family member have suffered because of a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. That’s why you need lawyers like those at Moll Law Group. Our lawyers will take the time to thoroughly understand you, your family, and your injuries. There is always a time limit for filing medical malpractice claims, so if you or a family member think you may have been injured due to medical malpractice, don’t wait to call Moll Law Group for a free consultation at (312) 462-1700.

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