When medical malpractice is mentioned, it's typically thought of as occurring in a high-risk, emergency medical situation such as an operation. Images of a botched surgery with the wrong body part operated on, unintentionally severing an artery or leaving a sponge or other item inside the patient might come to mind. However, for most Georgia residents, the danger of malpractice comes not from a complicated medical procedure but rather from what is generally considered a routine occurrence: a visit to a patient's local ambulatory care facility.
When Georgia residents need health care, they want to know that they can trust their doctor. Even so, medical malpractice does occur and can lead to more serious injury or even death. Knowing what the most common types of malpractice are is one of the best ways for people to avoid becoming a victim.
Two separate research papers released within weeks of each other both indicate that errors in diagnosis are a major source of medical malpractice claims. The first, released by insurance company Coverys, was focused on emergency departments in hospitals. It found that claims related to issues in diagnosis accounted for 47% of emergency department payouts and 33% of claims filed. Delayed or erroneous diagnoses were the most common single cause of medical malpractice claims against emergency departments throughout Georgia and the rest of the U.S.
As many as 80,000 people die in the U.S. each year because doctors fail to diagnose a serious medical condition or diagnose it too late for treatment to be effective. Even more worrying for Georgia patients is that one in three of the 12 million Americans who are victims of diagnostic errors every year either die or suffer serious or permanent damage to their health. These were two of the findings made by researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after studying more than 55,000 medical malpractice lawsuits.
There are a number of different approaches that may be used to diagnose cancer for patients in Georgia. These tests are necessary because many different symptoms might indicate cancer, but they could also indicate some other condition.
According to the World Health Organization, there are 400 million people throughout the world who have what are referred to as rare diseases. It is believed that only 500 of the 7,000 known rare conditions can be treated to any degree. A Georgia resident may have a rare condition if he or she is one of less than 200,000 people to have it.
Georgia surgical patients should hope their surgeons are feeling stress-free at operation time. According to a recent study, surgeons are much more likely to make medical mistakes during a procedure if they are feeling stressed.
People in Georgia might be at a greater risk of a medical error than they realize. Increasingly, studies are showing that medical errors happen at a high rate. This first came to light in a report from the Institute of Medicine 18 years ago that estimated preventable medical errors killed more than 100,000 people per year. Further research has only reinforced this statistic and suggested that the situation might even be worse.
Ovarian cancer patients in Georgia and elsewhere are frequently diagnosed with the disease after it has already spread, making the chances of survival remote. This is because the symptoms of this insidious cancer, often referred to as a "silent killer," can be subtle and tend to mimic other less serious conditions.
When people in Georgia go to the hospital, they may have little interaction with radiologists or the radiology team. However, because radiologists are responsible for reading and assessing critical tests, they play a key role in diagnosing patients with serious and progressive diseases like cancer. When radiology practice goes wrong, the effects on patients can be severe, especially when a mistaken radiology report leads to a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose cancer.