It’s hard to answer this question because there is no state or national tracking of medical malpractice cases. However, a 1993 study determined that five diseases top the list in terms of annual dollar awards for malpractice. These diseases are heart attacks, appendicitis, breast cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
When heart attacks and appendicitis are misdiagnosed in the emergency room, the misdiagnosis may lead to rapid deterioration and death. This is especially likely when the patient presents atypical symptoms It is not uncommon for heart attacks to be misdiagnosed in women because heart attack symptoms may be subtle and different than the classic symptoms experienced by men.
Cancers are often misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective.
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis can lead to unnecessary disease progression, pain and suffering and death.