Medical errors kill more than 225,000 people and injure more than 1 million each year in the United States. At Scartelli Olszewski, we have seen the pain and suffering these medical mistakes inflict on people.Our attorneys keep a sharp eye on new developments in the area of medical malpractice. One topic getting an increasing amount of attention lately is that of misdiagnosis.Incorrect, delayed or missed diagnoses have been recognized as a cause of medical errors for decades. But new studies are showing that the issue is even larger than previously believed.A story in The Washington Post highlights recent developments:
Misdiagnosis “happens all the time,” said David Newman-Toker, who studies diagnostic errors and helped organize the recent international conference. “This is an enormous problem, the hidden part of the iceberg of medical errors that dwarfs” other kinds of mistakes, said Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology and otolaryngology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Studies repeatedly have found that diagnostic errors, which are more common in primary-care settings, typically result from flawed ways of thinking, sometimes coupled with negligence, and not because a disease is rare or exotic.
A shocking study published in 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that 1 or 2 out of every 10 patients is misdiagnosed, an incidence rate of 10 to 20 percent. Despite this, improving diagnosis “has been omitted from the quality and safety equations.”State and federal lawmakers, however, continue to fail to protect the public from these errors and instead focus on reforming a supposedly broken legal system.“Despite the overwhelming evidence that medical errors are a rampant epidemic, they want to limit the rights of patients who are seriously injured or killed by medical malpractice,” reads one opinion piece published recently in The Times Leader.Scartelli Olszewski’s experienced attorneys remain dedicated to staying abreast of the latest developments in the area of medical malpractice as we strive to secure maximum recoveries for victims and their families. We conduct thorough investigations and carefully prepare complex medical malpractice cases to obtain the best possible results for our clients.