There are many ways that negligent Myrtle Beach doctors can commit medical malpractice. But according to a study from Johns Hopkins University, negligent misdiagnosis is the most dangerous form of malpractice for patients.
The study, which was published in Diagnosis in 2019, concludes that about 12 million Americans are the victim of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose every year. About a third of those patients die or suffer serious, potentially permanent harm as a result. Somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 Americans die due to diagnostic mistakes every year. The study says this makes misdiagnosis the number one most dangerous form of medical malpractice in the United States.
The Big Three for misdiagnosis
About 74 percent of the worst misdiagnoses related to what the study called the “Big Three” types of medical issues: cancer, vascular events like strokes and infections. Because all three are potentially life-threatening, it makes sense that a missed diagnosis can lead to terrible consequences. A wrong diagnosis can delay necessary treatment for the patient’s actual medical problem. By the time doctors figure out what the real issue is, it might be too late to save the patient’s life. Meanwhile, the treatment that the doctor prescribed is likely unnecessary, with no benefit and potentially painful or unpleasant side effects.
Accurately diagnosing a patient can be complicated. Even a competent and attentive doctor does not always get it right the first time. But mistakes due to negligence, such as failing to order a necessary test or not paying sufficient attention to the patient as they describe their symptoms, breach the doctor’s legal duty of care toward the patient. They put patients in preventable danger and should be held accountable.