<-- -->

Get Help Now From Lexington’s

“Favorite Attorney”

Voted Seventh Year in a Row

Meet Attorney Frank Jenkins

Botched Diagnoses, Drug Errors Lead to Malpractice Lawsuits

Botched-Diagnoses,-Drug-Errors-Lead-to-Malpractice-Lawsuits-ImageMisdiagnosing a patient’s health is a leading cause of medical malpractice in Kentucky and nationally, according to a new international study.

The research – published in July in BMJ Open and featured in a CBS News report – found that two-thirds of all malpractice claims involve a botched medical diagnosis by a primary care physician.

The illnesses doctors most often fail to spot are:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attacks
  • Bone fractures
  • Appendicitis
  • Ectopic pregnancy

And these mistakes carry a heavy price. Between 15 percent and 48 percent of patients whose problems were overlooked or misinterpreted ended up dying.

The study reviewed more than 7,150 journal papers on medical malpractice claims. The researchers focused on primary care physicians because of their role as the first line of patient protection.

For children, the most missed diagnoses were related to meningitis and cancers.

Drug Errors and Medical Malpractice in Kentucky

Drug errors are another common cause of medical malpractice.

Between 6 percent and 20 percent of malpractice claims involved a mistake in the prescription, use or dosage of medications, the researchers found. Drugs that are frequently misprescribed include steroids, antibiotics, anticoagulants, antidepressants and antipsychotics.

Victims of drug errors can suffer personal injuries that are severe, permanent and disabling.