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Facts About Medical Errors You Should Know

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The existence of medical malpractice as an entire section of practiced law points to how prevalent medical errors are in America’s healthcare system. According to data from the United States Department of Justice, medical malpractice is the second most common form of personal injury cases. Medical malpractice is accountable for 15% of total personal injury cases in the United States, behind only motor vehicle accidents at 52%. If you or a loved one are ever a victim of medical malpractice, the best course of action is to contact a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by knowing these facts about medical errors.

  • According to a nationwide survey conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, the majority of people estimate that medical errors only cause 5,000 deaths each year.
  • Research published in the Journal of Patient Safety has confirmed that 440,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors. That number is almost equal to the entire population of Atlanta, Georgia.
  • One in three people admitted to the hospital will experience a medical error during their stay, according to Health Affairs.
  • The United States spends tens of billions of dollars every year on the consequences of preventable medical errors, according to the American Association of Justice.
  • A report from the Institute of Medicine showed that every year medical errors kill more people than breast cancer, drug overdoses, or AIDS.
  • According to the Washington Post, surgeons in the United States have left 4,857 objects in patients, such as sponges.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that the most common medical errors are more mundane than foreign objects left in the body. The errors include injuries such as bedsores that bedridden patients develop when they don’t receive assistance moving for a long period of time.
  • Every year, approximately 500,000 Americans go to the hospital because of a bedsore they developed during previous care, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Out of that amount of bedsore-ridden patients, 58,000 will die during that hospital visit.
  • The Congressional Budget Office calculates that medical negligence lawsuits that personal injury lawyers pursue account for only one-half of one percent of all health care costs in the country.
  • Doctors and other hospital staff only disclose about 30% of medical errors to their patients, according to a report by Vox.
  • In 2006, professionals developed a five-point checklist that reduced the number of central line infections contracted during heart surgery to zero and published a report regarding the checklist method in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Despite all of the data that proves the prevalence of medical errors in the United States, the final fact on the list also shows that medical professionals are taking steps to minimize the commonality of medical errors. While the medical field makes strides to protect their patients at all times, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one have been the victim of a medical error. Your case could not only get you the compensation you deserve, but it could bring light to a situation needing improvement in our healthcare system and eventually lead to a future of better healthcare for all of us.