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Especially if you’re experiencing a medical emergency, you need qualified physicians and personnel who can quickly evaluate the situation and arrive at a clear conclusion. Sadly, misdiagnosis happens in hospitals and clinics, leading to serious and even fatal errors in treating patients. If you have suffered injuries, pain, or further complications as a result of a misdiagnosis, confer with a Hinsdale medical malpractice attorney sooner rather than later. You may be eligible for compensation, which can help avoid financial problems that may arise from medical treatment. Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.
Earlier this year, Johns Hopkins research found that a bulk of U.S. medical malpractice claims were the result of failure to properly diagnose patients. These cases totaled $39 billion across the country. The study reviewed 350,000 medical malpractice cases between 1986 and 2010, finding that diagnostic errors made up 35% of total medical malpractice claims.
Its likely that the problem is even more widespread, since its complicated to track and measure issues of misdiagnosis. Problems like surgical errors are often noticed and reported much more immediately, whereas a misdiagnosis case might crop up months or years after the initial incident. This time gap can present challenges to patients filing cases, since making the connection for jurors might be more difficult.
As early as 2006, the Wall Street Journal drew attention to misdiagnosis, highlighting some efforts to improve diagnostic accuracy. Some of the focus has been around ordering the right tests, developing proper follow-up plans, and verifying comprehensive medical histories in order to reduce the number of patients affected by misdiagnosis. Although these systems have been in place for several years, the John Hopkins study indicates that misdiagnosis is still a major issue for today’s patients.
Misdiagnosis can lead to the development of serious medical problems, like cancer, being exacerbated by lack of treatment. Other patients might get treatments or surgeries they didn’t really need after they were inaccurately diagnosed. If or a loved one has suffered complications or other issues after misdiagnosis, contact an Illinois medical malpractice attorney today.