Misdiagnosis and Delay in Diagnosis of Cancer and Other Diseases Is Common — Especially in Younger and Female Patients
A recent study reveals that among patients who sought a second opinion at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, more than 20% had been misdiagnosed by a primary care provider.
As reported in the Washington Post:
"The researchers looked retrospectively at 286 patients who had seen primary-care physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in 2009 and 2010. Nearly two-thirds were younger than 64, and most were female.”The Post article further clarifies:
"In 62 cases (21 percent), the second diagnosis was “distinctly different” from the first, the researchers reported. In 36 cases (12 percent), the diagnoses were the same. In the remaining 188 cases, the diagnoses were at least partly correct but were “better defined/refined” by the second opinion, according to the study.”The prevalence of misdiagnosis is covered also in this NBC television segment (below)...
When Is Misdiagnosis or Delay in Diagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?
Cases of misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis are often the basis of successful medical malpractice lawsuits when a physician or other healthcare provider does not take patient complaints seriously, does not order or follow up on diagnostic tests, or when other problems enter into a patient's care such as lab errors, communication errors, electronic medical records issues, or other hospital system errors.
This is especially harmful in cancer and other diseases where an early diagnosis can make a big difference in the patient’s prognosis — often whether they live or die.
For example, three of the most recent medical malpractice settlements posted to the Lubin & Meyer website are all related to the delay in diagnosis of cancer.
- $6.8M Judgment for Kidney Cancer Diagnosis Delay - Wrongful death lawsuit against doctor affiliated with Lowell General Hospital
- $1.5M Settlement for Delay in Diagnosis of Lung Cancer - Failure to address cough and order chest x-ray leads to delay in lung cancer diagnosis
- $2.5M Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Appendiceal Cancer - Lawsuit claims pathologist who evaluated appendix after removal was negligent in failing to identify the cancer and note it in her report
Do You Have Questions About a Diagnostic Error?
If you believe that you or a loved one may have suffered undue injury due to a delay in diagnosis of a medical condition or disease, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney in your state that regularly deals with such cases and can bring your case to trial if needed, or negotiate the best settlement.
Lubin & Meyer medical malpractice attorneys represent patients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Please learn more about our firm at lubinandmeyer.com. Or, use the button below to connect with us now.
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