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Study: Misdiagnosis Accounts For 8 Percent Of ICU Patient Deaths

John Hopkins University School of Medicine recently studied the rate of deadly diagnosis errors in intensive care units (ICUs) and made some alarming discoveries. The research revealed that ICU patients were 50 percent more likely to suffer a serious misdiagnosis than patients in other units of the hospital.

This study is troubling because ICU patients are already in a vulnerable state. If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition or incorrectly identifies it, the results are often fatal. The study's lead author, Dr. Bradford Winters, succinctly described the data as "surprising and alarming."

Hopefully, the study can help strengthen one of the weaker areas of U.S. medicine. Roughly 25 percent of all Americans die in a hospital's intensive care unit or soon after leaving one. While it's true that the ICU hosts patients who are dealing with serious medical issues, it's still undeniable that hospitals can make serious progress in the quality of care administered in their ICUs.

If you or a loved one suffers serious harm or wrongful death from a diagnosis error, contact an experienced Columbus medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal rights.

Source: The Atlantic, "The Alarming Rate Of Errors In The ICU," Cristine Russell, Aug. 28, 2012

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