Medical Mistake Statistics Rising at an Alarming Rate
When medical mistakes happen in hospitals, the results can be disastrous. And, the numbers are steadily rising. Consider that the last time the Institute of Medicine issued a report cataloguing medical errors (1999), it estimated that around 100,000 people die each year after they’ve been the victim of a medical mistake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that medical mistakes now rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer.
According to the Journal of Patient Safety, there may be as many as 400,000 deaths every year caused by mistakes made by doctors, nurses and healthcare facilities. Mistakes cover a wide number of issues including:
- Misdiagnosis of conditions, including cancer
- Amputation of the wrong limb
- Failure to monitor patients post surgical
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Failure to properly read an x-ray or other diagnostic tests
- Prescribing or administering the wrong medication
There are many types of medical malpractice and just as many reasons medical errors may occur. Healthcare workers often are forced to care for too many patients at a time and work very long hours. Improper record keeping causes mistakes when it comes to charting doctor’s orders. The list goes on.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of medical malpractice issues can be classified as negligent or careless behavior. Misreading a diagnostic test, for example, is likely not a sign that the radiologist doesn’t know how to read x-rays, but that he or she was distracted and didn’t pay the right amount of attention to the task at hand.
There are plenty of people who try, at all costs, to stay away from the doctor’s office. Call it “white coat syndrome” or whatever else you want, but many people are simply afraid or suspicious of the medical community. This recent review of medical errors statistics provides good reason for this concern.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a medical mistake, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Barry Sugarman, experienced personal injury lawyer, for a free consultation about your case.