A study conducted by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance suggests that younger patients in New Jersey and across the country are more likely to be misdiagnosed than older patients. Specifically, the study showed that 71 percent of patients with colorectal cancer under the age of 50 have stage 3 or stage 4 cancer. However, patients over the age of 50 are more often being treated for cancers at stage 1 or stage 2. One reason for this disparity may be that younger people are more likely to be misdiagnosed.
People in New Jersey with rare diseases may face an especially high risk of misdiagnosis and incorrect, sometimes dangerous, treatment. There are around 400 million people around the world affected by so-called rare diseases. In the United States, when 200,000 people or less are affected by a condition each year, it is considered "rare." As a result, these uncommon illnesses may have relatively little funds invested in research or pharmaceutical development. Furthermore, doctors may be unlikely to consider these illnesses when making a diagnosis.
New Jersey patients and others throughout the country could be vulnerable to having objects left inside of them after surgery. It is estimated that up to 6,000 patients leave a hospital with an object inside of them each year. This happens despite the fact that it is possible to prevent such an event from happening if proper precautions are in place. Needles and sponges are the two most common items that remain in a patient after a procedure.
Health care diagnostic errors cause injuries and death every year in New Jersey. According to one study, diagnostic errors were the largest cause for medical malpractice claims between 2013 to 2017.
Wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient surgical errors can be some of the most serious hospital mistakes a patient in New Jersey can face. All three of these types of errors are known as "never events" in the medical profession, meaning that they should never take place and require serious interrogation into safety failures in the case of such an incident. These types of incidents include doctors performing surgery on the wrong body part, conducting the wrong procedure or carrying out an ordered procedure on the incorrect patient.