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Medical malpractice: American patients at risk

In Pennsylvania and across the United States, 33% of medical malpractice lawsuits related to permanent disabilities or death is due to a doctor's misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. A recent Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study showed that misdiagnosis is the main cause of grave mistakes. Many Americans die in hospitals every year because of misdiagnosis. Plus, approximately 12 million American patients experience diagnostic mistakes.

The study looked at thousands of medical malpractice lawsuits, revealing that nearly 75% of common diagnostic errors were related to serious medical conditions, including heart conditions, infections and various types of cancers. These three medical events are classified as "The Big Three." Strokes, sepsis infections and lung cancer conditions account for the top misdiagnosed illnesses. Some of these mistakes took place in ambulances. Other errors occurred in emergency rooms.

A professor of neurology mentioned that physicians must show better results related to diagnosing diseases correctly. More than 50% of medical malpractice cases related to misdiagnosing illnesses were connected to general care physicians. However, it is not uncommon to find mistakes made by specialists and surgeons. Additionally, patients are often misdiagnosed due to faulty diagnostic services. Any person with a serious medical condition caused by a doctor, emergency room visit or the improper interpretation of diagnostic tools may want to contact a medical malpractice attorney.

A personal injury lawyer is trained to understand the complexities related to medical malpractice claims. Some physicians only allow patients 10 or 15 minutes for their medical appointments and do not take the time to listen to their concerns and symptoms. Consequently, family care doctors may misdiagnosis conditions, prescribe the wrong medicines or fail to specify the correct medications. A consultation with a personal injury lawyer may result in a lawsuit.

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