Diagnosis mistakes in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) may cause as many as 40,000 patient deaths every year in the United States, according to a well-regarded study.

Fatal errors committed in ICUs, where critically ill patients are supposed to get the most intense care, are “alarmingly common” and could be prevented yet they remain “underappreciated,” said the study by the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

If you had a loved one who died while in an intensive care unit, you may want to contact an ICU malpractice attorney for a free evaluation of the case.

Kline & Specter, with more than 40 attorneys, five of whom are also highly skilled doctors, has the experience and expertise to investigate ICU deaths and litigate potential cases.

Patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins noted that the number of ICU deaths due to diagnostic mistakes could exceed the number of women who die of breast cancer each year.

The researchers reviewed studies that used 5,863 autopsies to detect diagnostic errors in adult ICU patients. What they discovered was that 28 percent of patients had had at least one missed diagnosis and in many cases the diagnostic error was serious enough to have either caused or directly contributed to a patient’s death.

Infections and vascular illnesses made up more than three-quarters of those fatal flaws, with heart attacks and strokes being among the most common missed ailments. Also leading to death in the cases studied were various organ malfunctions such as congestive heart failure and bowel obstructions.

Call Kline & Specter at 800-243-1100 today to speak with an ICU malpractice attorney.  We represent victims of ICU malpractice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and throughout the United States.