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10 Most Common Misdiagnoses

Posted on July 25, 2022

When a serious medical condition is misidentified or missed completely by a medical professional, there can be permanent, devastating consequences. A recent study revealed the top 10 missed or delayed diagnoses based on data from patient safety incident reports, malpractice claims, morbidity/mortality rounds and focus groups. In order, they are:

  1. Colorectal cancer
  2. Lung cancer
  3. Breast cancer
  4. Heart attack
  5. Prostate cancer
  6. Stroke
  7. Sepsis
  8. Bladder cancer
  9. Pulmonary embolism
  10. Brain hemorrhage

Previous studies have supported these findings, but also included pneumonia, heart failure, kidney failure and urinary tract infections commonly missed in a primary care setting. Still another report noted that fractures, abscesses and aortic aneurysms were often misdiagnosed.

Approximately 12 million adult Americans are misdiagnosed each year in outpatient settings, according to the article. An estimated 40,000-80,000 people die annually because of misdiagnoses in U.S. hospitals. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine notes that “most people will experience a missed or delayed diagnosis in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.” When it comes to vascular events, infections, and cancer, delays in diagnosis can be deadly.

Delayed and incorrect diagnoses can be painful and, in some circumstances, cause lifelong health complications or even death. If you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice at a Philadelphia hospital or doctor’s office, an attorney experienced in litigating misdiagnosis cases can help you understand your legal options. Tom Duffy has secured 8-figure recoveries for clients in this area of the law. Contact us today to set a convenient time to speak.