Recent research in the USA suggests that most malpractice suits result from the misdiagnosis of medical problems.
Interestingly, the majority of these cases are cancer related, although possible heart conditions and meningitis diagnoses follow closely behind.
It isn’t just the USA. Researchers looked at 34 studies from several countries. However as the USA tends to be the most litigious it is not surprising that the majority of claims are made in that country.
Medical negligence while relatively rare is devastating for all those involved; not least the patient who in many instances has died. This means the family is at the forefront, picking up the pieces and forcing an investigation if they believe that malpractice is to blame.
Along with cancer, heart conditions and meningitis, researchers found that many other conditions were misdiagnosed result in a lawsuit being started.
These disorders include appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy and broken bones. Drug errors were also a cause for concern with 20% of claims being drug related.
Speaking with reporters, Kenneth A. Wilhelm, a New York lawyer said that sometimes unnecessarily expensive and indeed painful procedures have been inflicted upon patients due to late or inaccurate diagnosis. As well as some cases of misdiagnosis resulting in the death of a patient.