The Journal of Patient Safety recently performed a study and found at least 210,000 deaths per year were associated with preventable harm in hospitals. And this number does not include hospital incidents of medical errors, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose that may have gone unreported in order to avoid liability. When using the journal’s estimated figure of 400,000 preventable deaths per year as the result of hospital negligence, it is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. These medical malpractice deaths are made all the more tragic because they could have been prevented. If you or someone you know has been a victim of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, contact our Philadelphia misdiagnosis attorney for help.
Some of the leading sources of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose are:
Cancer – One of the worst diagnoses a patient can receive, cancer is a progressive disease, meaning it may take weeks to months to spread throughout the body. When caught early, it can usually be treated with better outcomes. If there is a delay in diagnosis or failure to diagnose, cancer can spread throughout the body with devastating consequences.
Stroke – When blood flow to the brain is interrupted, patients suffer a stroke and must be immediately seen in an ER to minimize the damage and ensure the patient has the best chance of recovery. Strokes are one of the most commonly misdiagnosed neurological conditions.
Heart attack – When blood flow to the heart is interrupted, patients also only have a limited time to be seen in the ER, get a diagnosis of a heart attack, and begin treatment. Any delay or failure to diagnose can result in serious organ damage or even death.
Blood clot – Blood clots that form inside the body can pose a serious health risk. If and when they dislodge, clots can cause serious damage to the lungs, heart, brain and more.
Infections – Infectious disease can spread throughout a hospital with a single touch or failure to sterilize a piece of equipment, tool, or room. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimated, “on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.” The most common include pneumonia, surgical site infections, gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections, and primary blood stream infections.
Meningitis – Bacterial meningitis is very serious and can only be caught when in close contact with someone who has the disease. The disease can present as a simple fever, progress within a matter of hours, and can only be treated through aggressive intravenous drugs.
Philadelphia Misdiagnosis Attorney
An Institute of Medicine report commissioned by the U.S. government contends that most Americans will experience at least one medical diagnostic error. These errors can occur for a variety of reasons, including doctor distraction and inattentiveness to the patient or failing to perform the appropriate diagnostic testing.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose in Pennsylvania, contact our Philadelphia misdiagnosis attorney as soon as possible for a confidential and free consultation. Our attorneys can answer your questions about misdiagnosis claims and explain your legal rights.