February 22, 2024

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United States: Diagnostic Errors Contribute to Nearly 800000 Deaths or Lifelong Disabilities Annually

United States: Diagnostic Errors Contribute to Nearly 800000 Deaths or Lifelong Disabilities Annually



United States: Diagnostic Errors Contribute to Nearly 800000 Deaths or Lifelong Disabilities Annually

On January 30th, the journal BMJ Quality & Safety published an article online titled “Burden of serious harms from diagnostic error in the USA,” revealing that approximately 800,000 people in the United States suffer lifelong disabilities or succumb to death each year due to misdiagnoses.

United States: Diagnostic Errors Contribute to Nearly 800000 Deaths or Lifelong Disabilities Annually

The study, based on the analysis of 21.5 million samples from U.S. hospital discharges, annual data on newly diagnosed cancers, 15 major vascular events, and data on infections and cancer diseases, yielded the following results:

– The total number of cases annually resulting in serious harm due to misdiagnosis in the United States is 795,000, including 371,000 deaths and 424,000 permanent disabilities.
– Among these cases, 15 high-risk diseases constitute 50.7% of the total serious harms, with the top five being stroke, sepsis, pneumonia, venous thromboembolism, and lung cancer, collectively accounting for 38.7%.
– The study suggests that even with conservative assumptions about disease incidence or the harm of specific diseases, the estimated number of individuals affected by misdiagnosis exceeds 500,000, highlighting misdiagnosis as a pressing public health issue.

Furthermore, the research indicates that meaningful progress can be achieved by addressing a few relatively common high-risk diseases. Reducing misdiagnoses of the 15 high-risk diseases by approximately 50% could prevent about 200,000 severe consequences. Similarly, reducing misdiagnoses of the five most harmful diseases by approximately 50% could prevent about 150,000 cases. (Source: BMJ Quality & Safety)

(source:internetoiWuvZ8awLFSWBKq2smW6w, reference only)


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