Posted in News on March 21, 2014
Most people rely on their primary care physicians, or specialists if necessary, to make the best possible health care decisions under the given circumstance. Patients entrust their specialists with life. Sadly, it is not uncommon for doctors such as heart specialists to make medical mistakes or errors. Montana residents may find it interesting to know that according to a recent study, one of the leading causes of cardiology related lawsuits is related to diagnoses. Specifically some cardiologists either failed to make a diagnosis, misdiagnosed conditions or took too long to make a diagnosis.
The study was compiled using 429 cardiology claims that were filed between 2007 through 2013. The purpose of the study was to help increase awareness among physicians about areas of medicine that carry a high risk of liability.
Failure to diagnose myocardial infarction seems to be the main culprit when it came to medical errors with cardiac diagnoses. The main reason for this stems from the array of symptoms associated with it, the somewhat imprecise results from the assortment of diagnostic tests that are available to the physician and finally the existence of other conditions that can very craftily impersonate MI to an inexperienced physician.
Second on the list was the improper management of treatment. This could be due to not having standardized protocols for administration of care. Examples of this would be along the lines of improper hand-off of patient treatment specific information between doctors at shift changes.
Next on the list was improper medication management. The main types of medications that fell into this category were anticoagulants. Most of the claims that were analyzed in the study that resulted from improper medication management were nearly entirely related to bleeding complications from administering anticoagulants like Warfarin. Another potentially risky drug was an anti-arrhythmic drug which resulted in multiple lawsuits related to side effects like pulmonary fibrosis that was only detected years after the patient had started a treatment plan that included it.
The aforementioned medical errors can happen any time to anyone. Thus, for anyone who believes that they have suffered harm due to a medical mistake or error on part of this health care provider, may want to contact a medical malpractice attorney for more information.
Source: Medpage Today, “Top 5 Reasons Cardiologists Get Sued,” Todd Neale, March 14, 2014