Top five malpractice diseases: Medical Malpractice
Top five malpractice diseases: Reportedly, the top five diseases in terms of total annual dollar awards for malpractice are heart attack, appendicitis, breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer (not necessarily in that order). These five diseases' medical malpractice lawsuits typically allege misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis that leads to a severe complication or a wrongful death. Heart attack (myocardial infarction) and appendicitis are common in the ER, where some failing (typically misdiagnosis) may lead to a rapid progression and often subsequent death. For example, misdiagnosis of heart attack can occur in non-typical cases such as younger women, or if there are non-typical symptoms of heart attack. The three cancers often have a longer time between some types of misdiagnosis or diagnostic error and the subsequent late diagnosis of the cancer, leading to a worsened prognosis and also often death in such cases. The seriousness of the consequences in all five diseases may explain why they typically pay out the highest in medical malpractice awards. This doesn't necessarily mean they are the most common malpractice cases in terms of the number of malpractice lawsuits.
Related Medical Malpractice Statistics
- 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)
- 30% of the dollars for ER medical malpractice lawsuits involve heart attack (Suing for Medical Malpractice, Sloan et al, 1993)
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