Most malpractice deals with missed diagnoses

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You may think that the primary reasons for filing medical malpractice claims in Ohio are related to surgical instruments that are left inside a patient, or the incorrect administration of medication. In fact, newly released information shows that patients are more likely to sue physicians for their failure to diagnose a disease. In fact, between 26 and 63 percent of all claims against primary care physicians are related to missed diagnoses.

Claims were evaluated from the United States, Australia, France and Canada. Among those, the most commonly overlooked diseases included various types of cancers, heart attacks and meningitis. In addition, most patients named in these suits did not simply sustain injury. Instead those medical malpractice suits generally dealt with patients who died from the missed diseases.

One of the most frequently missed diagnoses, heart attacks in women, is patently difficult to identify because of abnormal symptoms. Women generally have more atypical symptoms of a heart attack, with manifestations that include gastrointestinal distress. Many women never feel the arm or chest pain associated with traditional heart attack indicators. These symptoms contradict most knowledge about male heart attacks, and so scores of women continue without an appropriate diagnosis every year.

It is important for patients to realize that the vast majority of medical malpractice claims in the United States are actually dismissed for lack of evidence. In addition, most patients who experience some kind of health problem from a physician’s actions never file a malpractice suit.

Physicians say the information from the new study can be used to improve systems and regulations within individual hospitals, providing additional care for both patients and doctors.

If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you could be entitled to money to compensate for your medical bills and other civil claims. Consider consulting a qualified personal injury attorney in Ohio to find out more about your legal rights and responsibilities.

Source: www.foxnews.com, “Failure to diagnose is top reason for suing doctors” Rachael Rettner, Jul. 19, 2013