New Jersey Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyers
Medical errors by New Jersey doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals involving the misdiagnosis of diseases and other medical conditions are relatively common. Such instances of medical malpractice can lead to the worsening of the condition, difficulty in curing the condition, or death of the patient. At the New Jersey law firm of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, our misdiagnosis lawyers have extensive experience representing victims of medical malpractice where a doctor has misdiagnosed a condition or disease, such as a $950,000 settlement for failure to diagnose breast cancer.
A recent survey commissioned by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) asked people if they had ever experienced a misdiagnosis or medical mistake. Forty-two percent of those surveyed reported they had been involved in a “medical mistake.” Another forty percent stated they had been party to a misdiagnosis or treatment error; however, they did not differentiate between treatment error and misdiagnosis. About eight percent of the respondents claimed misdiagnosis was a primary causal factor in the medical error. Another nine percent said their doctor did not make an adequate diagnosis from the start. These rates of medical malpractice due to a misdiagnosis appear to be at least as high, if not higher, in New Jersey.
Studies on misdiagnosis in the Emergency Room have shown misdiagnosis rates by an emergency room doctor are between twenty and thirty percent. Due to the hectic nature of New Jersey emergency rooms and the serious and time-critical aspects of those who present there, the rates would be expected to be higher.
A large portion of medical malpractice lawsuits in New Jersey are filed due to misdiagnosis or delayed treatment. The five most misdiagnosed conditions are:
- Lung cancer.
- Colon cancer.
- Breast cancer.
- Heart attacks.
Usually misdiagnosis occurs when a patient presents with a non-typical condition, such as a young person having an acute heart attack.
Misdiagnosis of Tests and X-rays
New Jersey doctors regularly commit medical malpractice by misreading pathology slide tests. Benign tumors can be diagnosed as malignant, which would subject the patient to unnecessary treatment. Conversely, misdiagnosing a malignant tumor as benign will permit the cancer to grow, requiring more aggressive and invasive treatment at a later date. One study by Johns Hopkins Hospital found 1.4 percent of pathology slides were misread. Another study showed there was an error in 6 out of 535 cases of prostate cancer. Autopsy studies can pinpoint misdiagnosis, but autopsies are not conducted as frequently as they were in the past. Of course if your medical malpractice lawyer suspects medical malpractice, he or she can have a private autopsy performed.
NJ Medical Error Lawsuits
If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice due to misdiagnosis by a doctor, contact the New Jersey misdiagnosis lawyers at Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman. We will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your medical malpractice case.