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30 Years of Medical Malpractice Experience

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Misdiagnosis/Delayed Diagnosis

Diagnostic error is recognized as a major source of preventable harms in US healthcare. . . Estimates extrapolating from diagnostic error rates in specific research studies suggest that 12 million Americans suffer a diagnostic error each year in primary care alone. The same studies found that 33% of these diagnostic errors resulted in “serious permanent damage” or “immediate or inevitable death”. This would translate to at least 4 million seriously harmed, including at least 1.7 million who died from diagnostic error.
Newman-Toker D, Schaffer A, Yu-Moe C. Serious misdiagnosis-related harms in malpractice claims: "The Big Three"- vascular events, infections, and cancers. Diagnosis. 2019; 227-240.
Of the malpractice cases occurring because of diagnostic errors and causing the most harm, 74% were attributable to three conditions:
  • Cancer
  • Vascular events
  • Infection
Analysis: One in Three Malpractice Cases with Serious Patient Harms Are Due to Misdiagnosis. Society To Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (2019)

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