Medical Malpractice Dictionary: Misdiagnosis


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Misdiagnosis: Error in diagnosis including wrong diagnosis or failure to diagnose (in medical malpractice)

Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis refers to an error in medical diagnosis. This may include an incorrect diagnosis, failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis or other potential errors or delays in medical diagnosis. Misdiagnosis and diagnostic errors actually account for a very large proportion of medical malpractice dollar awards. See article Misdiagnosis and medical malpractice.

Related Medical Malpractice Statistics

  • Medical malpractice statistics for misdiagnosis and other diagnostic errors:
    • Majority of malpractice cases involve misdiagnoses, diagnostic errors or delayed diagnosis (When Good Doctors Get Sued, 2001)
    • 51.7% of ER-related malpractice lawsuits in a study involved misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose (Suing for Medical Malpractice, Sloan et al, 1993)
    • 1.7% of ER-related malpractice lawsuits in a study involved delayed diagnosis (Suing for Medical Malpractice, Sloan et al, 1993)
    • 20% of ER-related malpractice lawsuits in a study involved failure to diagnose with no diagnosis (Suing for Medical Malpractice, Sloan et al, 1993)
    • 30% of ER-related malpractice lawsuits in a study involved misdiagnosis (wrong diagnosis) (Suing for Medical Malpractice, Sloan et al, 1993)
    • 30% of the dollars for ER medical malpractice lawsuits involve heart attack (Suing for Medical Malpractice, Sloan et al, 1993)
  • Medical malpractice lawsuit payment statistics for diagnosis or misdiagnosis malpractice in the USA:
    • 5,611 medical malpractice payments were made due to diagnosis related malpractice in the US 2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • $307,418 was the mean medical malpractice payments made due to diagnosis related malpractice in the US 2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • $180,000 was the median medical malpractice payments made due to diagnosis related malpractice in the US 2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • 61,624 medical malpractice payments were made due to diagnosis related malpractice in the US 1990-2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • $237,867 was the mean medical malpractice payments made due to diagnosis related malpractice in the US 1990-2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • $125,000 was the median medical malpractice payments made due to diagnosis related malpractice in the US 1990-2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
  • Medical malpractice lawsuit payment statistics for diagnosis/misdiagnosis-related malpractice in the USA:
    • There was a 4.75 year mean time delay between diagnosis related malpractice incident and payment in the US 2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • There was a 4.26 year median time delay between diagnosis related malpractice incident and payment in the US 2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
  • Medical malpractice lawsuit payment statistics for nurse misdiagnosis malpractice in the USA:
    • 166 diagnosis related malpractice payment reports were made against registered nurses in the US 1990-2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • 12 diagnosis related malpractice payment reports were made against nurse anaesthetists in the US 1990-2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • 28 diagnosis related malpractice payment reports were made against nurse midwives in the US 1990-2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • 114 diagnosis related malpractice payment reports were made against nurse practitioners in the US 1990-2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
    • 0 diagnosis related malpractice payment reports were made against advanced nurse practitioners in the US 1990-2002 (2002 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
  • Medical malpractice lawsuit payment report statistics for misdiagnosis or other diagnosis error malpractice in the USA:
    • There were 31,931 diagnosis related primary malpractice acts or omissions in the US 1990-96 (The National Practitioner Data Bank Public Use File)
    • 27% of primary malpractice acts or omissions were diagnosis related in the US 1990-96 (The National Practitioner Data Bank Public Use File)
    • $6,068,653,848 in payments were made for diagnosis related primary malpractice acts or omissions in the US 1990-96 (The National Practitioner Data Bank Public Use File)

General Medical Malpractice Articles

Disclaimer on Medical-Legal Issues

Always seek professional legal advice from an attorney or other qualified legal professional about medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury, or any other legal issue. The medical/legal information provided here is of a general nature only, and is not a substitute for professional medical or legal advice.

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