In healthcare, diagnoses serve as the cornerstone of treatment and recovery. They guide medical interventions, shape patient journeys, and ultimately determine outcomes. Yet, what happens when these medical diagnoses miss the mark? Diagnostic errors are a silent yet profound threat to individuals and families. Diagnostic errors occur when a diagnosis is missed, wrong, or delayed, leading to severe patient consequences. Medical misdiagnosis and other diagnostic errors can stem from many factors, including misinterpretation of symptoms, flawed testing processes, communication breakdowns among healthcare providers, and even systemic issues within healthcare systems.

Research Concludes Burden of Serious Harm from Diagnostic Errors

An article first published on July 17, 2023, and updated on August 8, 2023, by BMJ Quality & Safety sheds light on the staggering burden of serious harms resulting from diagnostic errors. The study aimed to estimate the annual US burden of serious misdiagnosis-related harms. The findings by BMJ Quality, which were also reported in Johns Hopkins Medicine, are sobering, concluding that diagnostic errors contribute to a significant portion of adverse events in healthcare settings.

According to the original research of BMJ Quality, Burden of serious harms from diagnostic error in the USA, it was concluded that “an estimated 795,000 Americans die or are permanently disabled by diagnostic error each year, making it the single largest source of serious harms from medical mistakes.” The results suggest that diagnostic error is probably “the single largest source of death across all care settings linked to medical error.” These errors can occur in any healthcare setting, including emergency departments, primary care clinics, specialty care clinics, and inpatient settings.

According to the BMJ Quality research, Diagnostic error or medical misdiagnosis of just 15 diseases accounted for about half of all severe harm. The research found that diagnostic errors involving the ‘Big Three’ categories together – infection, vascular, and cancer – accounted for 50% of the serious harms. Among these, five conditions were linked to the largest number of serious harms. They included stroke misdiagnosis, sepsis, pneumonia, venous thromboembolism (blood clot in a vein), and lung cancer.

The Human Toll of Medical Misdiagnosis

Behind these study numbers lies a far more poignant narrative—the human toll of diagnostic errors. Beyond the statistics are individuals and families grappling with the aftermath of misdiagnoses. It’s a narrative of silent suffering, where patients endure unnecessary pain, complications, and even loss of life due to diagnostic errors. Often, a family is left grappling with unanswered questions and unspoken grief.

A medical misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or a healthcare professional’s failure to diagnose can result in severe consequences for a patient. This can include serious injury caused by a worsening condition or the tragic loss of life. Diagnostic errors can result in delayed treatment, incorrect treatment, incorrect medication, or missed preventative measures. This can all lead to a worsening of a patient’s condition. In the event of a severe illness, diagnostic errors can be life-threatening.

If you or a family member has suffered harm from medical misdiagnosis or another diagnostic error, consult with a skilled medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will closely examine the facts and evaluate your case. An experienced diagnostic error attorney can help you seek compensation for injury caused by medical misdiagnosis. This might include medical bills, long-term care expenses, rehab, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.

Schedule a Consultation Today

It’s time to move beyond the numbers and unveil the human toll of diagnostic errors. If you’ve suffered physical or emotional harm due to a diagnostic error, contact a medical misdiagnosis attorney at Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen, LLC today. Our experienced DKY medical malpractice attorneys will meet with you to discuss if negligence on the part of your healthcare provider caused harm. In the event of medical malpractice, there are steps we can help you take to get the justice you deserve. Tap to contact DKY for a no-obligation case evaluation.



WILKES-BARRE, PA – November 25, 2019 – The personal injury firm of Distasio & Kowalski, LLC, founded by partners Daniel J. Distasio and Michael J. Kowalski, has been ranked as a ‘Best Law Firm’ by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. Firms included in the 2020 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Distasio & Kowalski, LLC ranked in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

To be eligible for a best law firm ranking, a firm must first have a lawyer recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©. This recognizes the top 5% of private practicing lawyers in the United States. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

“For the 2020 ‘Best Law Firms’ publication, the evaluation process has remained just as rigorous and discerning as it did when we first started ten years ago,” says Phil Greer, CEO of Best Lawyers. ” We are proud that the ‘Best Law Firms’ rankings continue to act as an indicator of excellence throughout the legal industry.”

Ranked firms, presented in three tiers, are recognized on a national and regional-based scale. Firms that received a tier designation reflect the highest level of respect a firm can earn among other leading lawyers and clients from the same communities and practice areas.

Distasio & Kowalski LLC is located in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The firm specializes in Auto & Truck Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Product Liability, Personal Injury, and Wrongful Death.

For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit www.dklawllc or call 570-970-5400.


WILKES-BARRE, PA – May 13, 2019 – The Wilkes-Barre personal injury law firm of Distasio & Kowalski, LLC is pleased to announce that attorneys Daniel J. Distasio and Michael J. Kowalski have been named 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.

Daniel Distasio and Michael Kowalski are receiving this honor for the eleventh consecutive year. Both have been top rated in the category of Personal Injury Attorney. Super Lawyers are comprised of outstanding attorneys who have achieved the highest level of peer recognition and professional achievement.

“Michael and I are grateful to be recognized by our peers in this way. We pride ourselves on working ethically and passionately on behalf of our personal injury clients,” said Dan Distasio. “Our firm is committed to ensuring each and every client gets the best representation and the highest level of service.”

No more than 5 percent of all Pennsylvania lawyers receive this honor, which is bestowed by Super Lawyers magazine each year. Super Lawyers is a rating of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process. The process includes nominations, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews and evaluation by practice area.

Distasio & Kowalski LLC is located in Wilkes-Barre. The personal injury firm specializes in Auto & Truck Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Product Liability, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death.

For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit or call 570-970-5400.



Daniel Distasio, of Distasio & Kowalski L.L.C., has been selected to the 2018 list as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel (NADC). NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate.

Members are thoroughly vetted by a research team and selected by a blue ribbon panel of attorneys with podium status from independently neutral organizations. They are approved by a judicial review board as exhibiting virtue in the practice of law. Due to the incredible selectivity of the appointment process, only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States are awarded membership in NADC. This elite class of advocates consists of the finest leaders of the legal profession from across the nation.

Dan Distasio has been a litigator for over 25 years and is a principal in Distasio & Kowalski LLC in Wilkes-Barre. The personal injury law firm specializes in Car and Truck Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Birth Injuries, Product Liability and Personal Injury/Wrongful Death. For more information on the Wilkes-Barre personal injury firm of Distasio & Kowalski LLC, visit or call 570-970-5400