When Pennsylvania residents go to the doctor, they expect their medical professional to give them accurate advice and prescribe medicines accordingly. Unfortunately, what many do not realize is that doctors are humans like us, and susceptible to making mistakes as well. The major difference is that medical mistakes can result in the loss of human lives, therefore they are held to a high standard of care to ensure they do not make mistakes. Their mistakes or surgical mistakes that result in injuries or loss of lives can lead to medical malpractice suits.
Researchers have found that mistakes in diagnosing a condition are the most common and most serious mistakes medical professionals make. It is estimated that between 40,000 and 80,000 people die across the country every year because of misdiagnosis. 80,000 to 160,000 people may be caused serious harm as a result of a diagnostic mistake.
While these errors happen across all fields of medicine, they are more common in some areas than others. Infections, cancers and vascular events are responsible for about 75% of diagnostic mistakes. Of these, cancers caused the most serious harm, resulting in either death or permanent disability. Heart attacks, meningitis and blood clots were among the other conditions commonly misdiagnosed. Most of these errors took place in an emergency setting or in an outpatient setting.
A misdiagnosis of any kind is devastating for the person who gets it, but a cancer one can cause extensive damage, especially if the patient has begun receiving treatment for their supposed condition. It often takes a lot of medical treatments for people to get their health back, and this is not possible in all situations. Medical professionals can be held responsible for not adhering to the standard of care they owed their patient through a medical malpractice case.