Study: Misdiagnoses Cause Almost 800,000 Deaths/Disabilities Each Year By Foley Law Firm on October 25, 2023

doctor holding patient’s forearm while discussing a diagnosis

We count on doctors to get things right. That goes for diet and exercise advice as well as diagnosing major health problems. When a doctor makes a mistake, they put lives at risk. As a recent study revealed, hundreds of thousands of lives are put at risk each year. 

Our proven medical malpractice attorneys in Scranton and StroudsburgPA, would like to discuss a recent study about medical misdiagnoses in America. The numbers shed light on how many medical issues are going undiagnosed or improperly diagnosed and the tragic effects it has on patients. 

About the Misdiagnosis Study

We became aware of the study thanks to a report in Stat in July 2023. That Stat report looked at a new misdiagnosis study published by BMJ Quality & Safety.

The study estimated that 795,000 serious forms of harm from misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis affect patients each year.

Of that number, 371,000 people die due to the delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of a medical condition; 424,000 experience some form of permanent disability.

Even Conservative Estimates Are Troubling

The BMJ Quality & Safety study does note that there are conservative estimates also calculated, yet these numbers are still troubling. Using the more conservative estimates, there are still 549,000 serious harms each year because doctors misdiagnose or fail to diagnose medical problems.

Interpreting New Numbers with Past Findings

The dangers of delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis fall in line with a previous Johns Hopkins study we blogged about in 2016. That study noted that preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death each year, with annual hospital deaths totaling between 210,000-400,000.

Doctors are expected to provide a certain level of care, which includes properly diagnosing medical issues in timely manner.

What This Means for Patients and Their Families

This study suggests that issues with proper diagnoses are more common than we may realize. Given this fact, it’s crucial to seek second opinions should you experience adverse symptoms that do not improve following an initial diagnosis by your physician. What’s more, you may be entitled to legal damages because of a doctor’s negligence.

The Loss of a Loved One Due to Misdiagnosis

If you’ve lost a loved one because of a serious health issue, there may be a chance that a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis contributed to their death. In these cases, medical malpractice lawyers can help you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Hold Doctors Accountable: Get the Legal Help You Need

When a doctor gets something wrong, it can mean the difference between life and death. Whenever you suspect your doctor failed to properly diagnose a problem, be sure to reach out to another health professional.

If a diagnosis led to the loss of a loved one or changes in your quality of life, always remember that you can speak with a lawyer to review your civil litigation options.

Contact Our Team of Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you were injured as a result of a doctor’s delayed diagnosis, contact our attorneys in Scranton and Stroudsburg, PA. We can help you seek damages from negligent medical professionals. To learn more, contact our skilled team of attorneys today.

Related to This

Foley Law Firm office building

Foley Law Firm

The attorneys of the Foley Law Firm provide committed personal injury representation to eastern Pennsylvania. Our firm is proud to be affiliated with prominent organizations, including:

  • Martindale-Hubbell®
  • U.S. News & Nightly Reports
  • Super Lawyers
  • Lawdragon 

If you are looking for legal representation from a top-rated personal injury law firm in Scranton, call us at (800) 523-6539 or request a consultation online.

Contact Us Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite