Category: Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis of Neck/Back Pain can lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

by John McKiggan






Common problem may not have a common cause

Neck and back pain is one of the most common reasons that Canadians attend for medical treatment. Some studies have shown as far back as 1998 that more than 66% of the adult population were experiencingneck and back pain and more than 80% of adults had experienced back pain during their lifetime.

Pain usually resolves

Most People will be misdiagnosed in their lifetime: Why aren’t doctors more concerned?

by John McKiggan






Proper medical treatment requires proper diagnosis

It goes without saying that getting the right diagnosis is the first step in receiving proper medical care. Obviously if a patient isn’t properly diagnosed then the treatment they receive isn’t likely to address their illness or condition (except perhaps by chance).

So medical misdiagnosis is a serious threat to patient safety. In fact medical misdiagnosis is the number one cause of medical malpractice lawsuits in Canada.

How often does Medical Malpractice happen in Canada? The answer may surprise you.

by John McKiggan






In the six years that I have been writing this blog the article that has been consistently viewed the most, year after year, is the one published on September 29, 2008: How often does Medical Malpractice Happen in Canada?

Therefore, I thought it might be useful to take another look at the issue to see if the statics have changed or if there is any new information to shed some light on the question.

The American experience

What is the Safest Time to be admitted to Hospital? Weekend Admissions Carry Higher Risk of Death.

by John McKiggan






Weekends are dangerous in Hospitals

Last week the Canadian Institute for Health Information released a study that examined four million urgent acute care hospital admissions between 2010-2013. The study found that there was a 4% higher risk of death for patients admitted to hospital on a weekend rather than a weekday.

The statistics did not apply across the board. The so called “weekend effect” did not occur in hospital admissions for obstetric, pediatric or mental health patients.

Defence Experts “Crossed the Line”: Boyd v. Edington

by John McKiggan






In the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Boyd v. Edington, Dr. Richard Edington was ordered to pay $15 million dollars to Danielle Boyd and her family as a result of a catastrophic and debilitating brain injury she suffered due to Dr. Edington’s failure to diagnose the fact that she was suffering a stroke caused by dissection of one of her vertebral arteries.

15 Million dollars in compensation

The parties agreed, before the trial, on the amount of damages the plaintiffs would be entitled to receive if Dr. Edington was found to be responsible for Boyd’s injuries. The National Post reported on this story in part due to the significant amount of the damage award.

Diagnostic errors costly: Medical malpractice claims in Canada vs. United States

by John McKiggan






Misdiagnosis a common cause of malpractice claims

According to a recent study in the Journal BMJ Quality & Safety, diagnostic errors (medical misdiagnosis) are the biggest cause of medical malpractice payouts in the United States.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reviewed a 25 year data base of malpractice claims compiled by the NatioPractitioneroner Database. The database contained details of 350,706 medical malpractice claims between 1986 and 2010.The study also measured the frequency, severity and costs of different medical malpractice occurrences.

Time Limits in Medical Malpractice Claim: When Does Discoverability Rule Apply?

by John McKiggan






“How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?”

As a medical malpractice lawyer in Nova Scotia, I get asked that question a lot. But the answer is rarely simple or straightforward.

Every province in Canada has a Statute of Limitations, a law that places a time-limit on how long a plaintiff can wait before filing a lawsuit in court. For example, in Nova Scotia, the time-limit for filing a medical malpractice claim is 2 years from the date of the alleged negligence or injury.

Loss of Chance or Negligence? Bennett v. Landecker

by John McKiggan






In any medical malpractice case the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the defendant caused the patient’s injury, disability or death.

In many cases the initial cause of the plaintiff’s injury was not brought about by the defendant doctor. Rather, the plaintiff presented with an illness or medical condition which is misdiagnosed and, as a result, the patient doesn’t get treatment that might have cured the illness or condition (or prevented further deterioration).

Loss of Chance

Effective Management of Test Results Improves Patient’s Safety

by John McKiggan






A major study conducted by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) has identified ten key areas that can help improve patient safety.

Diagnostic testing is a critical part of modern medical care. Conducting appropriate tests in a timely fashion and reporting results of testing is key to ensuring appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Miscommunication a Risk to Patients

Farmer Receives 1.5 Million Dollars for Emergency Room Negligence – Forsberg v. Naidoo

by John McKiggan






Misdiagnosis Leads to Amputation

A recent ruling from the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta confirms that prompt diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death (or in this case, life and limb).

Alberta farmer Wayne Forsberg has been awarded 1.5 million dollars in compensation as a result of medical negligence on the part of emergency room physician Dr. Dadi Naidoo.

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