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Malpractice claims for missed cancer and heart attacks diagnoses the most common

A study published in BMJ Open on July 18 revealed that missed diagnoses for conditions such as cancer and heart attacks are the most prevalent causes for medical malpractice claims, totaling between 26 and 63 percent of the research’s total claims.

Thirty-four journal articles were included in the study: 15 of which were based in the U.S., nine in Britain, seven studies in Australia, two French papers, and one from Canada. According to the study, only one-third of U.S. malpractice claims settled with the claimants, while half of the malpractice claims in the U.S. resulted in financial compensation.

Dr. Emma Wallace, primary care researcher at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin’s Ireland Medical School said medical malpractice lawsuits can lead physicians to engage in “defensive medicine,” meaning they can opt to increase their referral rates.

The least number of medical malpractice claims were drug prescription errors, which came totaled between 6 and 20 percent.

Negligence by doctors and other medical professionals can be dangerous, as the slightest act of malpractice can have serious implications for a patient. If you or a loved one has been harmed in Massachusetts due to a medical care provider’s negligence, talk with a lawyer from Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, by calling (617) 426-4488.


Malpractice claims for missed cancer and heart attacks diagnoses the most common | Crowe & Mulvey, LLP