According to Johns Hopkins, misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical error. This type of medical malpractice is also the most serious and costly.
Misdiagnoses, which can include mistakes, oversights and significant delays, each year leave 100,000 patients across the country either dead or suffering from a permanent disability.
It seems that doctors have a harder time diagnosing some conditions over others.
Just three types of conditions, cancer, infection and paralysis related to loss of blood to the spinal cord, account for three out of four of the misdiagnoses that lead to serious injuries. Among these conditions, cancer accounts for the highest frequency of diagnostic errors.
Why do misdiagnoses happen?
The numbers suggest that 85% of all misdiagnoses are due to errors in judgment. In other words, the doctor had the information they needed to diagnose a condition correctly and to start treatment.
Instead, they made the wrong call, missed a critical detail or just waited too long to start often-critical treatment.
The authors at Johns Hopkins suggested that doctors need additional tools to help them diagnose conditions correctly, especially when time is of the essence.
The authors suggested that the medical industry should perhaps rely on computer aids to help doctors think through their diagnoses. They also recommended better teamwork between doctors, patients, staff and proper specialists.
The authors also thought more practice cases and feedback to doctors would help the problem.
Doctors whose misdiagnoses cost Michigan patients should pay compensation
No matter the reason, if a Michigan doctor misdiagnoses a patient, they may be legally responsible to pay compensation. They may have to pay additional medical bills and lost wages as well as other non-economic damages.
A person in the Detroit area who believes that their doctor misdiagnosed them, or their loved one, should make sure they understand their legal options.