When it comes to medical malpractice, many Rhode Island residents think of the types of highly publicized mistakes that dominate national media coverage of malpractice cases. The man who goes in to have a leg amputated only to wake up to find that the wrong limb was removed. Surgical sponges and other medical supplies left in a surgical site. Patients treated for illnesses they do not have, based on paperwork or physician errors.
However, a recently released study completed by Johns Hopkins University asserts that surgical errors are not the source of the majority of medical malpractice claims filed across the nation. In fact, the causal factor that leads most patients to sue their healthcare providers is far less dramatic, but even more frightening due to the fact that it occurs so often. Diagnostic errors lead to approximately 28.6 percent of medical malpractice claims that are paid out to victims.