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At The Heart Of Medical Errors

Like all other humans, doctors make mistakes. When the missteps involve the human heart, however, the consequences of medical errors can be devastating. Understanding how the mistakes happen, and why the errors occur can help other physicians, surgeons and nurses avoid repeating the missteps and causing injury to more patients.

A health care industry publication recently reported on the results of a study of 429 medical malpractice claims involving cardiology. The examination of the cases that were resolved between 2007 and 2013was carried out by a medical malpractice insurer.

According to a 2011 West Virginia report, the medical malpractice insurer, The Doctors Company, a large California-based company has a small share of our state’s insurance business. The company found in its recent study that the most common reason for cardiology patients to file malpractice claims are the following:

  • 25 percent are diagnosis-related (failure to diagnose, wrong diagnosis or delayed diagnosis)
  • 14 percent of claims were due to alleged improper management of treatment
  • 12 percent were caused by improper performance of treatment or procedure
  • 11 percent were due to improper performance of surgery
  • 6 percent were caused by allegations of improper medication management

As readers familiar with last year’s report from the Institute of Medicine on diagnostic errors know, the majority of Americans will experience at least one meaningful diagnostic failure in their lifetimes. This latest report on medical malpractice supports the significant research showing that delayed and wrong diagnoses – as well as failures to diagnose – occur far too often in our health care system.

A Huntington attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation can assess your legal options and help you pursue full and fair compensation.

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