It’s downright frightening. And quite frankly, it’s unacceptable. Of course, no one is perfect. But there must be a higher standard held by American physicians. Their medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States each and every year. Following heart disease and cancer, medical errors take the lives of about 250,000 Americans on an annual basis, says Steve Sternberg of U.S. News & World Report.
In his report, he highlights the findings of a study published by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Martin Markary, a professor of surgery and health policy at the school, is the study’s lead author. “People don’t just die from heart attacks and bacteria, they die from system-wide failings and poorly coordinated care,” he is quoted as saying in the article.
Medical errors account for 10 percent of U.S. deaths annually.
They are part of what co-author, Dr. Michael Daniel refers to as an “under-recognized epidemic.” To complete their study, the team of writers used evidence from four different studies that analyzed medical death rate data from 2000 to 2008. There are other studies, however, that suggests that the calculation of 251, 454 deaths resulting from medical mistakes in the U.S. every year is lower than what is accurate.
Sternberg points out that a 2011 Health Affairs report “calculated that just over one percent of hospital patients die each year because of medical errors. When applied to the more than 35 million people hospitalized each year, Makary and Daniel say, this would ‘translate into 400,201 deaths per year’.”
Victims of medical errors may be entitled to compensation.
Earlier this week, on News4SanAntonio.com, attorney Thomas J. Henry revealed that if a person is misdiagnosed, receives a delayed diagnosis, experiences a childbirth injury, suffers a medication error, anesthesia error or surgery error, he/she may be entitled to compensation. He notes that, to be sure, one must determine if a doctor-patient relationship existed, if the doctor was negligent, if the doctor’s negligence caused the injury and if the injury led to specific damages.
Henry explains to his potential clients that it must be proven that a doctor’s actions caused harm in a way that a competent doctor would not have. It must also be proven that the doctor’s actions and not a pre-existing condition caused the harm. “Even if it is clear the doctor performed below the expected standards in his or her field, the patient can only sue for malpractice if the injury led to actual harm,” Henry conveys in the article.
Perhaps this sheds some additional light on the American epidemic that is medical errors. Many Americans who may be suffering due to medical errors haven’t been able to confidently report it, due to a lack of provable evidence. It can be argued, however, that medical errors may be taking a lot more lives every year than recent studies show.
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Medical misconduct is clearly a major problem in our country. While lawyers are experts on legal issues, we provide experts on nursing practice and the health care system. For more information about how we may be able to help your next case, please don’t hesitate to call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.