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Statistics say misdiagnosis is prevalent in emergency rooms

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2022 | medical malpractice

Emergency rooms are where people in need of immediate medical care will go. In Illinois and across the United States, those who are suffering from an injury, illness or condition will expect to get an accurate diagnosis and the necessary treatment.

However, medical errors are commonplace in emergency rooms and people are suffering the consequences for it. This was highlighted by a recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

People who suspect that they or a loved one was harmed by an emergency room misdiagnosis or other medical mistake should consider these numbers and think about their options to determine what happened.

Researchers say one in 18 patients are misdiagnosed in emergency rooms

The agency looked at almost 300 studies from January 2000 through September 2021. It found that one out of every 18 people who go to an emergency room will be wrongfully diagnosed. This comes to 7.4 million every year. Of those, 2.6 million are victimized by a preventable issue had they been accurately diagnosed.

This is comparable to the statistics for hospitals and primary care facilities. Misdiagnoses occurred most often for people having heart attacks, strokes, spinal cord injuries, thrombosis and aortic aneurysms. These accounted for about four in 10 mistakes.

Medical professionals protest the findings. They suggest that since emergency rooms are generally used for people who are in severe distress, it can be difficult to come to a clear determination as to what the problem is. They say some people present symptoms that are difficult to immediately recognize and treat properly.

That aside, people should know they have the right to get the proper medical care when they need to go to an emergency room. A misdiagnosis can result in getting the wrong treatment for their specific issue. They might even be sent home when they need to be admitted and given immediate care.

When there is a lapse or medical professionals have made a clear mistake with catastrophic consequences, people need advice in trying to discover what happened, why and know who made the error.

Seeking the right kind of help is key with investigating a medical error

There is no shortage of legal help in Illinois when there is suspected medical malpractice, negligence, wrongful diagnosis, medical errors and other missteps. However, it is vital to seek the right kind of assistance to gather evidence and have a good chance at holding those responsible for the mistakes that they made.

This goes beyond a well-known advertising campaign and instant name recognition. The key is to have experience that comes from working these types of cases for four decades. Getting results requires diligence, attentiveness, knowledge of the law, aggressiveness and ethics.

People who have been harmed or lost a loved one due to a doctor or hospital error will face medical expenses, long-term damage, personal and professional challenges and concerns about the future.

Given the troubling statistics, it is imperative for people to realize that these gaffes happen with a worrisome frequency. The entire case must be scrutinized to determine what happened. This can be critical in moving forward with a medical malpractice claim. Having assistance from qualified and experienced professionals is a first step.