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Zelbst, Holmes & Butler

Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers

More than 70-years experience helping clients through personal injury cases

Diagnosis mistakes and malpractice claims

| Mar 27, 2018 | Medical Malpractice |

Diagnostic errors are the primary cause behind medical malpractice claims in Oklahoma and throughout the nation. This is according to the results of a recent study conducted on malpractice claims filed from 2013 to 2017.

The study determined that 33 percent of malpractice claims could be attributed to mistakes that occurred while patients were being diagnosed. This led all other causes for malpractice suits. Over half of those claims pertained to poor clinical judgment.

The next most frequent category was procedural or surgical claims at 24 percent, followed by medical management at 14 percent. The author of the report, which was published by malpractice services provider Coverys, states that diagnosis-related claims have not experienced the same decrease throughout the years as various other contributors.

In total, researchers studied 10,618 claims. Patient death was a factor in approximately 36 percent of the cases. Roughly a third of the deaths took place in outpatient settings. The author states that those statistics are linked to the increasing tendency to treat patients on an outpatient basis in lieu of an inpatient settings.

An analysis of the study’s results pinpoints multiple areas during diagnostic procedures when physician are prone to commit errors. The physician’s failure to properly evaluate the patient properly was a factor in almost 33 percent of the diagnosis-related.

An attorney may advise malpractice victims of their legal options. Medical malpractice claims could be filed against physicians for diagnostic errors that result in worsened medical conditions, unnecessary surgeries or delayed treatment. A victim might also pursue financial damages for surgical errors, anesthesia mistakes and group home injuries.

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