Following heart disease and cancer, medical errors are the third leading
cause of death in Americans, making up about one-sixth of yearly deaths
in the United States.
Medical malpractice is a silent killer that is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths
annually. Quite shockingly, it is estimated that
everyone will experience a
substantial diagnostic error at some point in their lifetime. Despite the alarming nature of these
statistics, little has been done to change this trend due to limited public exposure.
In a 1999 analysis entitled "To Err Is Human" published by the
Institute of Medicine (IOM), it was estimated that 98,000 people were
dying per year from preventable hospital errors. This number has skyrocketed,
as the newest
report published by the Journal of Patient Safety indicates that as many as 440,000 people annually die from a preventable
medical condition. These deaths are not from the initial sicknesses that
people visited a hospital for, but from errors in treatment that resulted
in secondary complications.
The following are some examples of preventable conditions:
- Treatable blood clots
- Bad combinations/doses of drugs
- Trauma suffered from falls
- Over exposure to medical radiation
- Errors in diagnosis
The loss of life is made even worse when compounded with the financial
implications, as it is estimated that medical errors cost nearly $17 billion
each year. This number is even greater when adding into account missed
work days and lost productivity, raising the total to about $1 trillion annually.
How Can This Trend Be Changed?
In order to combat this trend, major change is needed. The IOM's latest
report, "Improving Diagnosis in Health Care," states that cultural
shifts, improved education, and an error reporting system is needed to
keep medical personnel accountable. Until these changes are made, it is
likely that this unfortunate trend will continue to affect thousands.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a preventable medical error,
a Florida medical malpractice lawyer from David C. Rash, P.A. can help
you seek compensation. With more than 25 years of experience and millions
of dollars recovered on behalf of our clients, we are prepared to stand
by your side and make every effort to secure a fair settlement for your
suffering. Call (954) 914-7116 or
request a free initial consultation today.