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Malpractice claims most often based on misdiagnosis


Medical malpractice can quickly turn a victim’s life upside down. Serious cases can result in permanent injuries or even death. The smallest of mistakes can quickly turn a situation dire. Malpractice is a chronic problem at even the best Oregon medical facilities.

A large study recently examined medical malpractice claims and their origins to better understand the problem. In the study, researchers looked at more than 7,000 journal papers on malpractice claims against primary care doctors. The researchers focused on primary care doctors since they are generally the first point of contact for patients with medical concerns.

The study found that missed diagnoses accounted for the majority of malpractice claims. Quite unsettling, the most common consequence of misdiagnosis in the claims was patient death. Leading the list of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions were heart attacks and cancer. Appendicitis, bone fractures and ectopic pregnancy also topped the list. The study found the most common missed diagnoses in children were cancer and meningitis. After failure to diagnose, the study found that drug errors were the second most common basis of malpractice claims. Drug errors include problems administering or prescribing items such as antibiotics, antidepressants and anticoagulants.

The injuries resulting from medical malpractice can permanently affect a victim’s life and health. Even the most attentive of patients can suffer at the hands of a negligent physician. This makes it important for all Oregonians to be aware of their legal rights should they become a victim of malpractice. Experienced medical malpractice attorneys help victims by filing cases against the responsible parties. A variety of compensation can be awarded depending on the facts of the case. A successful medical malpractice claim can compensate a victim for his or her injuries and provide financial stability for the future.

Source: CBS News, “Most common medical malpractice claims for missed cancer, heart attacks,” Ryan Jaslow, July 19, 2013