Study: Women Victims of Medical Errors at Alarming Rates | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

National statistics reveal that preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country. A study conducted by John Hopkins University found that there are about 250,000 mistakes made by hospital medical personnel every year. Approximately one in every 20 adults is misdiagnosed every year. The study also found that almost every person will have at least one misdiagnosis in their lifetime. Another study found that women, in particular, have an alarming rate of being misdiagnosed.

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Leeds University Study

According to the results of the study, women have a 50 percent higher risk rate of receiving a wrong diagnosis after they have suffered a heart attack. And 30 percent of women who suffer a stroke are also misdiagnosed.

The research team studied data of 600,000 heart attack patients who had been admitted to hospitals between 2003 and 2014. Almost 200,000 of those patients were initially misdiagnosed.

There are two different types of heart attacks. Stemi attacks occur when there is a total blockage of the coronary artery. The coronary artery supplies the heart with oxygenated blood. Nstemi attacks occur when there is a partial blockage of more or more arteries.

The data revealed women who had a final diagnosis of a Stemi attack were 59 percent more at risk of a misdiagnosis than men. Women who had a final diagnosis of Nstemi attacks were 41 percent more at risk of a misdiagnosis than men.

There are other conditions that also often take longer to diagnosis in women than men, including autoimmune diseases (average time for diagnosis in women five years), and female-specific medical conditions (average time for correct diagnosis ten years).

Medical Malpractice

When a doctor fails to diagnosis or misdiagnosis a patient’s condition, the consequences can be devastating for both the patient and their family. The patient now becomes a victim of the doctor’s failure, and all too often, that failure of medical staff results in the death of the patient.

In order to prove malpractice, a Virginia medical errors attorney needs to prove the following:

  • There was a legal duty of care: A doctor-patient relationship existed. The doctor had a duty that required him or her to have medical knowledge and medical skills that a reasonably competent doctor who practices the same type of medicine would have.
  • The legal duty of care was breached: The doctor failed to diagnosis or misdiagnosed the patient’s condition.
  • The patient suffered injury or harm: A more serious medical condition developed.
  • The doctor’s failure or error caused that injury or harm.

Contact a Va. Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or condition because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose correctly, or any other type of medical error, contact a compassionate Virginia malpractice attorney to discuss what legal options you may have.

Our Va. medical error attorneys understand these types of mistakes can have on families and have successfully advocated for many victims and their loved ones in obtaining financial compensation because of the harm they suffered when medical staff failed to provide the necessary medical treatment.