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Medical Errors the 3rd Leading Cause of Death

medical-errorsA recent study from Johns Hopkins found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more lives than any other medical condition except cancer and heart disease.

Unfortunately, this problem is kept out of the public eye because the CDC’s mortality statistics, which rely on death certificate data, don’t capture things like communication breakdowns or errors in judgment that can lead to a patient’s death. As a result, medical mistakes are under-reported. This new study, based on eight years of hospitalization records,  calls for a better way to track medical errors in order to better protect patients.

As personal injury lawyers, we know that there are seemingly endless numbers of things that can go wrong during a patient’s care. Missed or mistaken diagnosis, unnecessary procedures, poor communication, electronic medical record inconsistencies, prescription mishaps, and infection can all have tragic consequences.

What are the stats on Medical Errors?

The most devastating aspect of this finding is that over 250,000 people die each year due to preventable circumstances. While even the best doctors and healthcare professionals can make a mistake, we cannot take steps to prevent these mistakes and mitigate their effects without accurate information about how they occur, and how often. Currently, there is very little funding for research on how to make patient care safer.

By bringing more public awareness to this issue, safety advocates and researchers hope that lawmakers would move to allocate more resources to investigating how and why these mistakes occur, and how to prevent them.

If you have suffered injury, illness, or lost a loved one due to a grave medical error, you may be able to bring a malpractice claim against the healthcare provider. Contact our office for a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and options.


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