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Diagnostic Errors in Emergency Departments Occur with Alarming Frequency

 Posted on March 06, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

arlington heights medical malpractice lawyerIn 2016, when researchers from the famed Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine revealed that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., the media, the medical establishment, and the general public were stunned. The fact that medical mistakes occur was not a secret. But their prevalence and the extent to which they cause catastrophic or fatal harm were not yet widely understood.  

As this reality has been public knowledge for several years, it probably should not be surprising that researchers from the same institution recently revealed that emergency room misdiagnosis errors are made approximately 7.4 million times every year in the U.S. Yet, this news is, nevertheless, shocking.

What Is Going On?

After reviewing close to 300 medical studies released between 2000-2021, researchers determined that 2.6 million patients suffer preventable harm as a result of the more than 7 million emergency room diagnostic errors made annually. An additional 370,000 patients either die or suffer permanent disability as a result of these errors.

Physicians are human, so they will make mistakes from time to time. However, some medical mistakes constitute medical negligence for which patients maye seek monetary damages.

Of primary interest to the researchers who conducted the study is a phenomenon that concerns atypical presentations of five specific conditions. Misdiagnosis of these five conditions account for 40 percent of the serious harm caused by these errors every year. These conditions are:

  • aortic aneurysm or dissection

  • myocardial infarction

  • spinal cord compression or injury

  • stroke

  • venous thromboembolism

By understanding that atypical presentations of these specific conditions contribute to a significant risk of deadly or disabling harm, emergency room physicians can take better care to avoid dismissing symptoms that may be atypical manifestations of these medical events. Additionally, by understanding that these conditions are frequently misdiagnosed, patients and their loved ones may be empowered to advocate more confidently on their own behalf if they believe that their concerns are being dismissed by emergency room physicians and staff.

Connect with an Experienced Arlington Heights Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Personalized Guidance and Assistance

If you have suffered harm due to a diagnostic error made by an emergency room physician, it is time to consider your legal options. By connecting with the knowledgeable Arlington Heights, Illinois medical malpractice lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP, you’ll be empowered to make informed choices about your rights and potential opportunities for compensation.

To learn more, you can schedule a consultation at no cost by calling 847-797-8000. Our firm offers free video consultations as well. We look forward to speaking with you.




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