Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Diagnostic Errors Account For 39 Percent Of Medical Malpractice Related Deaths

Posted by Milton Recht:

From The Washington Post, Health & Science, "Diagnostic errors are leading cause of successful malpractice claims" by David Brown:
Diagnostic errors, not surgical misadventures, obstetrical mistakes or improperly delivered medications, are the main source of successful malpractice claims. However, little is being done to identify such errors and measure their effects.
Incorrect, missed or delayed diagnoses accounted for 29 percent of successful malpractice claims. They accounted for 35 percent of the total amount of money paid out and caused 39 percent of malpractice-related deaths.
Autopsy studies suggest that 10 to 20 percent of deaths are from causes not diagnosed when the patient was alive. About half could have been successfully treated.

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