The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) conducted a systematic review of about 300 studies to determine how many emergency room misdiagnoses occur in the United States. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality issued its finding on December 15, 2022. The AHRQ report’s findings were described as “exceptionally alarming.”
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s report states that the agency examined more than 19,000 citations and about 280 studies. Its report states that the AHRQ researchers calculate there are about 7.5 million emergency room misdiagnoses happening every year.
- An average of 1,400 diagnostic errors per emergency room annually.
- 370,000 patients who became permanently disabled or died due to emergency room misdiagnoses per year.
- 2.6 million patients suffer harm due to preventable errors.
The top 15 misdiagnosed medical conditions include:
- Aortic aneurysm and dissection
- Arterial thromboembolism
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Gastrointestinal perforation and rupture
- Intestinal obstruction
- Lung cancer
- Meningitis and encephalitis (tied with #7)
- Myocardial infarction
- Sepsis (tied with #6)
- Spinal and intracranial abscess
- Spinal cord compression and injury
- Traumatic brain injury and traumatic intracranial hemorrhage
- Venous thromboembolism
The top five most misdiagnosed medical conditions account for almost 40% of serious injuries caused by misdiagnosis. The top five misdiagnosed medical conditions include:
- Stroke – Blood supply to an area of the brain is blocked, or a brain blood vessel bursts.
- Myocardial infarction – A heart attack caused by the heart muscle not receiving enough oxygen.
- Aortic aneurysm and dissection – An aortic dissection is a tear that occurs in the body’s aorta inner layer.
- Spinal cord compression and injury – A spinal injury or can that puts too much pressure on the spinal cord.
- Venous thromboembolism – Venous thromboembolism, also known as VTE, is a medical condition that transpires when a blood clot forms in the patient’s vein.
Those are also very serious medical conditions that require immediate emergency room medical treatment as these medical conditions, if left untreated for too long, can result in brain damage, death, or loss of function.
The country’s leading doctor groups, such as the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians, issued a written statement countering the federal government’s report. The statements accuse the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of stating “misleading, incomplete, and erroneous conclusions” and the agency “unnecessarily disparages the practice of emergency medicine in the United States.” The letter also acknowledges that there is a need to improve the diagnostic precision of emergency care.
What Should You Do if You or a Loved One Was Harmed After Suffering an Emergency Room Misdiagnoses?
No matter what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s report states, it is a fact that errors, omissions, and misdiagnoses occur in emergency rooms and all clinical settings. In some cases, these injuries are caused by a lack of adequate staffing.
If you or a member of your family have been harmed due to emergency room negligence or malpractice, you may have a viable claim to pursue and recover monetary compensation for your damages. Those damages may include pain and suffering, medical treatment, medication, lost wages, ongoing therapy, and much more. Due to the emergency room setting, it is likely that medical conditions can be misdiagnosed or overlooked. In order for a victim of medical negligence to prove medical malpractice, the patient must present evidence that a different emergency room doctor would not have made the same error or omission under the same circumstances, and the victim’s attorney must prove to the court that the error or misdiagnosis had an immediate negative effect on you or your family member’s health.
In order to achieve the best results in your case, contact the knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP. Our medical negligence lawyers can explain your legal options, and if we are able to represent you or your loved one, we will fight for your best interests.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by medical malpractice. For your free consultation, contact our national injury law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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