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Diagnosis issues top list of reasons cardiologists are sued

North Carolina readers might be surprised to learn that diagnosis problems topped the list for most common lawsuits filed against cardiologists. A physician owned insurer, The Doctors Company, examined 429 cardiology claims filed between 2007 and 2013. According to the report, the leading cause of cardiology-related lawsuits were issues with diagnosis such as delayed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis and failure to diagnose.

The purpose of the study is to aid cardiologists by alerting them of potential liability danger zones so they can make more informed decisions. According to the co-chair of the American College of Cardiology Board of Trustees Work Group on Medical Professional Liability Insurance, the best way for a cardiologist to avoid potential lawsuits is to keep a strong line of communication open with patients and their family members. Good communication should include informing patients and their families regarding the risks and possible complications that come with procedures, treatments and medications. If a mistake does occur, it is important that the physician takes responsibility for any problems and attempts to correct any errors.

According to the report, the top five reasons that cardiologists were sued were diagnosis problems at 25 percent, mismanagement of treatment at 14 percent, improper performance of procedure or treatment at 14 percent total, improper performance of surgery at 11 percent and improper medication management at six percent.

Individuals who have been harmed due to delayed, missed or wrong diagnosis may be eligible for compensation to offset additional medical expenses, missed wages and suffering or pain. A personal injury lawyer with a background in medical malpractice suits may review a plaintiff's case and answer questions pertaining to personal injury law in North Carolina.

Source: MedPage Today, "Top 5 Reasons Cardiologists Get Sued", Todd Neale, March 14, 2014

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