Posted: April 25, 2013

 Between 80,000 and 160,000 patients suffer preventable injury or death because of a medical misdiagnoses each year in the United States. That was the conclusion of an extensive study by researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Center which found that mistakes made in diagnoses – including missed, wrong or delayed diagnoses – happened more often and with worse consequences than all other medical errors. The study analyzed 25 years of payouts made in medical malpractice lawsuits. The researchers looked at a total of 350,706 paid claims and found that diagnostic errors were to blame in 28.6 percent of the cases and accounted for 35.2 percent of total payments to injured patients. Even worse, the study concluded that the rate of death or disability was nearly double in patients harmed by diagnostic errors – such as cases of missed strokes or cancer -- as opposed to mistakes made in other categories such as treatment errors (27 percent of cases), surgical mishaps (24 percent), obstetrical mistakes (7 percent), medication errors (5 percent) and anesthesia disasters (3 percent). Learn more about medical malpractice lawsuits.