Medical Misdiagnosis Continues To Result In Tragic Consequences For Patients
Most of us are aware of the health risks posed by conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and respiratory ailments. We try to lead a healthy lifestyle, and attend periodic health screenings with the hope that any illness will be caught early, giving us the best possible chance of recovery. Unfortunately, there is another common killer claiming hundreds of thousands of lives each year, one we all need to be aware of.
Medical mistakes have risen to epidemic proportions in the United States, and have led to a dramatic increase in medical malpractice claims. One of the most common and potentially tragic types of errors is medical misdiagnosis, where patients suffer from serious and potentially life threatening conditions, which doctors and hospital staff fail to catch.
Why Medical Misdiagnosis Occurs
In May of 2016, doctors at Johns Hopkins University announced that medical errors and mistakes had risen dramatically to become one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. They reported that surgical errors, medication mistakes, and medical misdiagnosis were killing more than 250,000 people a year, replacing respiratory illnesses and ranking just below heart disease and cancer as the third leading cause of death.
Leading health organizations rank the most common causes of death to inform the public and to fund research efforts. As medical mistakes generally go unreported on death certificates, the alarming number had been previously overlooked. Based on their data, there is not one primary cause why these errors occur, but rather an overall breakdown in services that include:
- Poor coordination of care between providers;
- Absence of safety protocols in doctors’ offices and hospitals;
- Lack of accountability among doctors and hospital staff;
- Administrative errors, such as mistakes in patient charts and records.
The Potentially Tragic Consequences Patients Suffer
When patients suffer from diagnostic delays and misdiagnosis, their illnesses can continue unchecked and the results can be tragic. Such was the case for a Miami woman who suffered from breast cancer. As reported by Orlando News 6, the woman found a lump in her breast and reported it to her medical provider.
Through a series of mistakes by both her doctor and her local diagnostic imaging center, the lump was misdiagnosed and continued to grow. It took more than a year and visits to eight different doctors to get a firm diagnosis, but by then the damage had been done. She was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer, has had both breasts removed, and is still undergoing radiation. By filing a lawsuit, she won a $21.6 million medical malpractice settlement, in which several parties were found liable for the damages she and her family have suffered.
Are You Dealing With the Impact Of A Medical Error? Contact Our Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you suspect you are the victim of a medical mistake or error, call or contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III online today. We understand the serious impacts you and your family may be facing, and can schedule a free consultation for you with our Fort Pierce medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights to compensation.