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Medical Misdiagnosis: Are you at risk?

Posted on in Personal Injury

       A recent report regarding medical malpractice in the U.S. estimated that diagnostic errors by physicians and hospital employees resulted in “serious permanent damage” or “immediate or inevitable death” in up to 4 million Americans annually. (Newman-Toker, 2019, p. 227).

      A recent study showed who is most likely to be affected

  • Average age: 49
  • Female: 51%

       The three most commonly misdiagnosed diseases, which represent 75% of the serious misdiagnosis-related harms, are:

  • Vascular events – stroke, clots, and hemorrhages/bleeds
  • Infections
  • Cancers

           The medical specialties involved in a significant amount of the medical errors studied in the report include (1) internal medicine; (2) emergency medicine; (3) neurosurgery and neurology; (4) family medicine; and (4) radiology. “Most clinical failures occur right at the bedside assessment.”

           According to the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the best way you can help to prevent medical errors is to be an active member of your health care team—take part in every decision about your health care. Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results. 

           Have you or a loved one been harmed by misdiagnosis or medical malpractice?  The attorneys at Hurley McKenna & Mertz are dedicated to representing victims of medical malpractice, and bringing change to the health care industry to prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths due to preventable medical errors.  If you or a family member have been a victim of medical malpractice and need help or have questions, call us at 312.553.4900.


Newman-Toker, David E., et al. “Serious Misdiagnosis-Related Harms in Malpractice Claims: The ‘Big Three’ – Vascular Events, Infections, and Cancers.” Diagnosis, vol. 6, no. 3, 2019, pp. 227 – 240., doi:10.1515/dx-2019-0019. 


















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