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Misdiagnosed Conditions in Intensive Care Patients Lead to Medical Malpractice Lawsuits



Missed or mis-diagnosed health conditions among intensive care patients may be leading to tens of thousands of deaths each year, according to a recently released study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. An earlier study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that missed or delayed diagnoses are responsible for about 30 percent of all medical malpractice claims.

According to a news release announcing the Johns Hopkins study:

"Each year as many as 40,500 critically ill U.S. hospital patients die with an unknown medical condition that may have caused or contributed to their death, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts report…The experts in the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality discovered that 28% of patients—more than one in four—had at least one missed diagnosis at death. In 8 percent of patients, the diagnostic error was serious enough that it may either have caused or directly contributed to the individual’s death and, if known, likely would have changed treatment, researchers say."

Among the conditions that were most commonly missed: Heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia and aspergillosis, which is a type of fungal infection.

Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

There are serious consequences even if the missed or delayed diagnosis isn't fatal. Patients face long hospital stays - putting them at greater risk for hospital-acquired infections, adverse drug reactions and bed sores.

Lengthy hospital stays result in unnecessary surgeries, bigger hospital bills and decreased quality of life.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a missed or delayed diagnosis while in an intensive care unit, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If successful, you could recover money to pay for:

  • Medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Visit LawyerLocator for more information about medical malpractice or to locate a medical malpractice attorney in your area.