Medical Mistakes: New Report Released on Misdiagnosis

3-1Medical Mistakes: New Report Released on Misdiagnosis

When you visit the doctor or go to the hospital, you trust that you will receive the best care possible. You believe that the medical professionals have the experience and expertise to treat your condition and ensure that you are safe from further harm. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Millions of Americans suffer serious harm due to medical mistakes.

In fact, medical mistakes are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. About 795,000 people die or suffer a permanent disability each year because of medical mistakes. A new report from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore digs deeper into the role of misdiagnosis in the outcome of patients. The study provides more clarity into the types of diseases that are most likely going to result in a misdiagnosis.


What is Misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis is just one of the various types of mistakes that may occur in the medical field. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose occurs when a doctor or other medical professional makes an error during the diagnosis process. A misdiagnosis may include such things as a delayed diagnosis, missed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis, or the failure to properly notice complications that can cause problems with an existing condition of the patient. Misdiagnosis can happen when the doctor does not perform the proper tests, misinterprets the results of tests or procedures, or simply fails to evaluate a patient’s symptoms and complaints.


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New Johns Hopkins Report

The latest report from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore took a deeper dive into diagnostic errors and their effects. The lead author of the report is Dr. David Newman-Toker, the director of the Center for Diagnostic Excellence. He stated that previous studies focused mainly on mistakes made in specific clinical settings, such as hospitals, emergency rooms, and primary care facilities. As a result, those studies did not provide adequate insight into the harm that occurs to patients in multiple care settings.



The latest report evaluates data for various medical conditions. Researchers reviewed 15 medical conditions and found that 371,000 people died and 424,000 were permanently disabled due to medical misdiagnosis. Most of the deaths and disabilities, about 75%, had to do with three main things, including vascular events, infections, and cancers. Stroke, sepsis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and lung cancer made up almost 40% of serious harm.


Newman-Toker stated that “A disease-focused approach to diagnostic error prevention and mitigation has the potential to significantly reduce these harms. Reducing diagnostic errors by 50% for stroke, sepsis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and lung cancer could cut permanent disabilities and deaths by 150,000 per year.”


What to Do About Misdiagnosis

Unfortunately, misdiagnosis continues to be a serious concern. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to misdiagnosis, or other types of medical mistakes, you may be able to take legal action. In some cases, a medical malpractice claim will help you obtain compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of the misdiagnosis. However, not all mistakes are actionable. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your specific case. Contact us at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation.






The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.



Center for Diagnostic Excellence | Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute (

New Report Measures Scope of Damage From Medical Mistakes (


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