Diagnostic Errors

Risk management in action. Read about malpractice claims and case studies alleging diagnostic errors.

  • Failure to diagnose fracture

    Failure to diagnose fracture

    An eight-year-old boy came with his mother to a local emergency department (ED). He reported pain in his lower left leg (“hamstring pain”) from a fall earlier that day.

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  • Failure to diagnose a foreign body and to follow up

    Failure to diagnose a foreign body and to follow up

    An eight-year-old girl was brought to the emergency department (ED) of a large hospital with a groin injury from a bicycle accident.

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  • Failure to diagnose postpartum stroke

    Failure to diagnose postpartum stroke

    The first documented assessment of the patient in the ED revealed a temperature of 97.9 degrees; pulse 53; respirations 20; blood pressure 147/77 mm Hg; oxygen saturation 97%.

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  • Reporter 2018 Dermatology

    Reporter 2018 Dermatology

    Failure to diagnose melanoma in a timely manner; Law requires Texas physicians to query PMP before prescribing opioids and other drugs

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  • Delay in diagnosing colon cancer

    Delay in diagnosing colon cancer

    The patient claimed that the physician told him that the rectal bleeding was due to his diverticulosis and was not life threatening.

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  • Failure to diagnose and treat complications

    Failure to diagnose and treat complications

    A 16-year-old girl was brought to the emergency department after sustaining a leg injury while playing soccer. X-rays revealed a right bimalleolar ankle fracture dislocation.

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  • Failure to diagnose mandible fracture

    Failure to diagnose mandible fracture

    On June 1, a 35-year-old woman fell while stepping off a boat, injuring her chin, jaw, wrist, and hand. She went to an urgent-care clinic for treatment.

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  • Failure to diagnose and treat fungal infection

    Failure to diagnose and treat fungal infection

    The patient sought treatment from a dermatologist for a scaly plaque on his scalp

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  • Delay in the diagnosis of lung cancer

    Delay in the diagnosis of lung cancer

    A 62-year old man came to the ED with symptoms of a stroke.

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  • Failure to diagnose and treat infection

    Failure to diagnose and treat infection

    A 72-year-old woman with a history of diabetes went to the emergency department due to pain in her left eye. The ED physician suspected orbital cellulitis, but CBC and CT scans were normal.

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  • Reporter Q3 2020

    Reporter Q3 2020

    CME: Sexual harassment and misconduct in health care; 2019 risk management trends; Failure to diagnose and treat; Failure to respond to test results; 2021 TMLT Governing Board election

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  • Reporter Q2 2020

    Reporter Q2 2020

    COVID-19: Guidelines for re-opening your medical practice; CME: Medication and prescribing safety; Failure to diagnose and treat infection; Failure to respond to test results

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  • Failure to diagnose and treat

    Failure to diagnose and treat

    A 35-year-old man came by ambulance to the ED reporting headache and dizziness.

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  • Reporter Q1 2020

    Reporter Q1 2020

    CME: Risks associated with medical spas; TMLT Government Relations: Our focus for 2020; Failure to follow up and timely diagnose ectopic pregnancy; Delay in obtaining MRI

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  • Reporter Q3 2019

    Reporter Q3 2019

    Tracking patient follow up and diagnostic test results (CME); 2018 Risk Management trends analysis; Failure to manage risk of shoulder dystocia; Failure to follow up on syncope; Board Election 2020

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  • Failure to confirm diagnosis of polycythemia vera

    Failure to confirm diagnosis of polycythemia vera

    A 40-year-old man was referred to an internal medicine physician. The patient reported feeling weak and tired.

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  • Delay in diagnosing breast cancer

    Delay in diagnosing breast cancer

    A 77-year-old woman with a history of cigarette smoking and COPD came to her family physician reporting a lump in her right breast.

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  • Failure to properly interpret BRCA test results

    Failure to properly interpret BRCA test results

    A 40-year-old woman came to her ob-gyn for a well-woman visit. The patient requested breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA) testing.

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  • Failure to diagnose anemia

    Failure to diagnose anemia

    A 17-month-old girl was brought to Pediatrician A to complete vaccinations. This visit was documented as “vaccines only.”

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  • Failure to report misplaced central line

    Failure to report misplaced central line

    A 64-year-old woman came to the ED. She had undergone back surgery five days earlier.

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