Each year, hundreds of thousands of people die from misdiagnosis in emergency rooms, according to a Department of Health and Human Resources report issued in Dec. One in 18 patients, or 7.4 million patients out of the 130 million ER visits, received an incorrect diagnosis.
The HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research report identifies misdiagnoses that could underlie personal injury lawsuits. That agency claimed that 2.6 million patents suffered preventable harm. Misdiagnosis led to death or permanent disability for 370,000 ER patients.
HHS identified these conditions as being the most misdiagnosed in ERs.
Strokes affect arteries leading to and contained in the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot, bursts, or ruptures. Women are more prone to suffer strokes.
Strokes are the fifth-highest cause of death and a major cause of disability in the United States. Someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in this country.
A heart attack or myocardial infarction occurs when at least one area of the heart muscle receives insufficient oxygen and blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked.
The heart’s muscle cells become damaged and die if its blood and oxygen supply is stopped. Within 30 seconds of the blockage, irreversible damage begins. Any heart muscle impacted by the lack of oxygen does not work properly.
An aorta is a significant blood vessel that carries blood throughout the body from the heart. Also known as dissection, an aortic aneurysm occurs place anywhere in the aorta’s wall. The force of blood pushing against the weakened walls can become an aneurysm.
Spinal cord compression
This injury includes damages to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal, cauda equina. It may cause permanent changes to strength, sensation, and other bodily functions below the injury.
Spinal cord injury paralysis is often referred to as tetraplegia or quadriplegia. This spinal cord injury affects arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
Another condition is also known as paraplegia. This is a paralysis that affects part of the entire trunk, legs and pelvic organs.
Blood clots deep in veins
Also known as venous thromboembolism, this is an underdiagnosed and serious condition that causes disability and death.
People can recover if the clot is small and appropriate treatment is provided, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But there may be lung damage. Large clots may prevent blood from reaching the lungs and become fatal.
Attorneys can advise malpractice victims and their families on their rights. They can represent them in negotiations and court proceedings.