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What is the most common catastrophic medical error?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

When you go to the doctor, you expect that you are going to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment. The point of seeing your doctor is to finish the treatment better off than you were before. While sometimes, it is the nature of an illness that creates a problem with the treatment, it is not always the case. Sometimes, it is a mistake of the doctor that could lead to catastrophic consequences. When it comes to medical errors, what is the most common and dangerous error? 

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common errors are inaccurate or delayed diagnosis. In cases linked to death or permanent disability, about three quarters included diagnostic errors. The conditions included in these cases are as follows: 

  • Cancer 
  • Infection 
  • Vascular events 

Delayed diagnosis is not inconvenient. It is dangerous and can lead to severe harm and worse. Consider the devastating impact of misdiagnosis. Many conditions are time sensitive. For instance, cancer requires immediate treatment before it progresses. When a doctor does not diagnose you correctly, then you could end up with a more deadly stage of cancer. 

To reduce medical malpractice and to reduce serious harm from medical errors, diagnostic accuracy needs improvement. The three conditions listed account for almost 75 percent of all diagnostic errors with the most harm attached. The most common diseases among these conditions include lung cancer, sepsis and stroke. 

Keep in mind that to solve the problem of misdiagnosis, experts suggest that professionals look beyond the physician for improvement. It has to be a systemwide effort beginning with the facility.