Misdiagnoses are one of the leading reasons why diagnostic errors occur. This common mistake often leads to people filing medical malpractice lawsuits in California if serious injuries or death occur as a result. A cancer misdiagnosis is one of the most serious errors that happen in the healthcare industry.
The frequency of misdiagnoses
At least one-third of misdiagnoses involve cancer. Cancer accounts for 37.8% of the diagnostic errors that doctors make. In addition, these misdiagnoses have led to individuals filing medical malpractice cases that stemmed from preventable deaths or disabilities.
Another study shows that an incorrect diagnosis is the most frequent medical error. As a result, nearly 40,000 deaths occur because the patients’ illnesses are not treated immediately or correctly. More than 33% of the wrong diagnoses lead to severe, permanent injuries or deaths.
The consequences of a misdiagnosis
A cancer misdiagnosis is often the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. Cancer patients may have suffered from a lack of treatment or improper treatment. They can file medical negligence lawsuits against the doctors, hospitals or other medical providers who made the diagnosis. They can sue by claiming that a breach of duty of care was the main cause.
Fixing errors and saving patients’ lives
Many deadly cancers have 90% to 100% survival rates when caught in their earliest stages. An early diagnosis is the most crucial factor that reduces the mortality rates of cancer. A misdiagnosis may lead to a lack of treatment or the wrong type of treatment that allows a person’s medical condition to worsen. Doctors who are becoming more aware of diagnostic errors are working toward reducing the rates of diagnosis errors.