Diagnostic errors in medical care are very common, leading the way in preventable medical error. It is estimated that of the 440,000 estimated deaths by preventable medical error each year, diagnostic error is the cause in 80,000 of those deaths.
Response to Epidemic = Patients Must Protect Themselves
Despite the prevalence of diagnostic error and serious and frequently deadly consequences, there has been remarkably little done to reign them in. Much of the response from those with a voice in addressing these issues (not the patients), is to create resources for patients to learn to protect themselves.
It seems that most would find it remarkable that the response to an epidemic in deadly diagnostic errors is not to improve medical care but to teach patients to protect themselves against their medical providers.
Patient Education Resources
Since the medical community, regulators and insurance industry have determined that the best way to protect patients is to have them protect themselves, it is critical that patients and families do a little research on their conditions and treatment so they can protect themselves. Below are a couple of very good places to start:
Patient Safety Resources: A good place to get started with regard to diagnostic errors:
If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed by a diagnostic error, the Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyers at Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.