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Medical malpractice numbers are high among diagnostic errors

Many people believe that surgical issues and medication errors are the most common instances of medical malpractice. As it turns out, diagnostic issues cause most problems.

A study published in the BMJ Quality and Safety journal demonstrates that for over the past two decades, diagnostic errors were more problematic than surgical and medication problems when it came to patient injuries, case numbers and monetary awards.

The research comes from a study of 350,706 medical malpractice claims from the National Practitioner Data Bank. Of these claims (which involved payments), approximately 28.6 percent were diagnostic issues. Furthermore, from the results, researchers approximate that somewhere around 80,000 to 160,000 people in the U.S. have been affected by diagnostic mistakes. Such errors resulted in serious harm or death.

It is easy to presume that medical malpractice issues are generally surgical or medication errors. This is because the matters are so tangible. However, when you really think about it, a misdiagnosis could lead to the aforementioned issues - and they probably do. For this reason, diagnostic matters pull ahead.

Regardless of your type of medical error, if you have been harmed due to the mistreatment from your health care provider, you might consider your legal recovery options. Medical professionals have the duty to follow strict standards of care. If they do not, this is when your health and safety become severely compromised.

If you would like to learn more about medical malpractice and negligence, speak with a qualified attorney in your area. A lawyer can help assess your situation.

Source: Huffington Post, "Diagnostic Errors More Common In Medical Malpractice Claims Than Surgical," Medication Errors: Study," April 24, 2013

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