Looking back on last week’s article How Medical Negligence Ruins Lives Even When Damages are Paid, it’s pretty clear the kind of damage that post-surgery negligence can cause. In the case we covered, it wrecked a man’s health and destroyed his marriage.
Unfortunately, this kind of negligence happens all the time. Doctors can and should be much more attentive after surgery and in the ICU.
In fact, a recent study suggests that mistakes in diagnosis (as well as failure to diagnose) in the ICU alone may result in 40,500 deaths annually-almost as many deaths as are caused every year by breast cancer!
The study estimated that for every four patients who die while in Intensive Care, one of them was misdiagnosed close to the time of their death. Not every single misdiagnoses has a direct effect on every patient’s death. But the study estimated that mis-diagnosis contributes to or causes around 8% of ICU deaths yearly.
These statistics are especially disturbing when you consider how vulnerable most ICU patients are. It stands to reason that medical professionals should be even more attentive to patients’ conditions-and even more on guard about their diagnoses-than usual. Unfortunately, it seems that just the opposite is true.
Some conditions are more susceptible to this kind of doctor error than others. These conditions include:
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Heart Attack
These four conditions are estimated to be at play in about a third of all mis-diagnosis incidents. Physicians involved in ICU would ideally brush up on the symptoms of the above four conditions, as well as run tests to ensure that none of the conditions are at play.
But this is nearly impossible-and rarely thought of-if the victims don’t know of the mis-diagnosis. Even when hospital staff does suspect such a thing, they aren’t likely to inform patient's family about it. But a medical malpractice lawyer may be able to look at your case and detect fault, if you think that something suspicious has happened. Contact Snyder and Snyder today if you need free legal consultation from a team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers that serve in the Baltimore area.