A study conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that up to 98,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors. According to the study, preventable medical errors are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
An abundance of research confirms the surprising extent of medical errors. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), close to 200,000 severe injuries could be attributed to medical negligence in 2012. In addition, as reported by HealthGrades, Medicare patients had a one in five chance of dying from a patient-safety incident.
In some cases, the failure to properly diagnose a patient in a timely way can end in tragedy. In New York, a woman named Laverne Wilkinson went to the hospital fearing she was having a heart attack. As part of her treatment, a chest X-ray was performed. She was assured that her test results were normal, and was discharged.
What she didn’t know was that her chest X-ray actually showed a suspicious nodule in her lung. For two years, despite going to follow-up clinic appointments, no doctor viewed that chest X-ray. Finally a new chest X-ray was done. But by that time, Wilkinson had Stage 4 lung cancer that had spread throughout her body. If she had been properly diagnosed and treated after the first chest X-ray was taken two years earlier, her chances of survival would have been much higher.
If you suspect that you have been the victim of a medical error, experienced San Diego medical malpractice attorneys can vigorously pursue compensation for your injuries.