Hospital mistakes kill more than breast cancer, study says

August 28, 2012 12:57:17 PM PDT
As many as one in four ICU patients may die this year because they did not get the right diagnosis while in critical care.

A study in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety finds misdiagnosis causes or contributes to more than 40,000 patient deaths in intensive care units in U.S. hospitals each year.

The conditions most commonly missed by medical staff included heart attack, a blood clot in the lungs, pneumonia and a fungal infection that usually affects people with a weakened immune system.

Together, these four conditions accounted for about one-third of all illnesses that doctors failed to detect in ICU patients.

Researchers now want to know why these conditions are being missed.

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