Most of the medical malpractice lawsuits that attract the attention of the media involve specialist surgeons like oncologists or orthopedic surgeons. However, many medical malpractice lawsuits involve not specialists, but primary care doctors. A new study finds most of the medical malpractice claims against primary doctors are the result of misdiagnosis or medication errors.
The findings came from a review of more than 34 earlier studies that were conducted over the past two years. The results of the review were published in the Journal BMG. At least 15 of these studies were conducted inside the United States.
According to the research, between 7.6% and 16% of all medical malpractice claims involve primary-care doctors. Those numbers have remained fairly stable over the past 20 years. In the case of medical malpractice claims that involved misdiagnosis, the most common conditions that were misdiagnosed were heart attack, meningitis and cancer.
The review found most primary-care doctor-related medical malpractice claims involved misdiagnosis. These accounted for between 26% and 60% of the total number of medical malpractice claims. In most of the medical malpractice claims linked to misdiagnosis, the patient died as a result of the misdiagnosis. In fact, patient fatality occurred in 15% to 48% of the medical malpractice claims in which misdiagnosis mentioned .
To reduce the chances of misdiagnosis, make sure your doctor has full knowledge of your complete medical history, any past illnesses you have suffered and any recent problems or symptoms. A doctor who is thoroughly aware of your medical history has a much better chance of diagnosing your condition correctly.
If you feel you or your family member have been harmed as a result of negligence or medical malpractice, please contact Michels & Lew attorneys today at 310-444-1200.