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Misdiagnosis is a major problem

In many cases in Ohio, people primarily think about medication errors or surgical errors when they think about medical malpractice. A very real problem is that which occurs when a doctor gives the wrong diagnosis for a condition as well. It is generally not discussed as much due to its relative difficulty to quantify.

According to experts, between 5 and 15 percent of diagnoses given by doctors are incorrect. Doctors may overlook important symptoms, go with the most common explanation for a symptom without delving further or make the mistake of agreeing with a colleague's erroneous diagnostic impression.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine is scheduled to release a report this month on the problems leading to misdiagnosis. It is hoped that the focus will help doctors nationwide to fix errors that lead to misdiagnoses. A medical liability insurance company analyzed 2,000 insurance claims from 2010 to 2013. Of those claims, it identified 313 in which misdiagnoses had occurred, meaning it was the third most prevalent reason for professional liability claims that had been filed. Misdiagnoses also resulted in investigation and payout costs of $47.2 million, the second highest amount of all of the medical malpractice claim types.

Medical malpractice cases occur fairly frequently, leaving patients to suffer from injuries that may be severe. People who are seriously harmed due to a doctor's misdiagnosis may want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney about their options. An attorney may, upon a careful review of the medical records, be able to determine whether it appears malpractice occurred. In the event that it did, the attorney may then help by filing a civil lawsuit against the responsible doctor, hospital and medical staff that made the mistake.

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