Medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a Johns Hopkins University study. This would mean medical mistakes kill more people than stroke, lower respiratory disease and unintentional injuries.
Researchers analyzed death rate data in four studies and determined that more than 250,000 people died due to medical errors every year in the United States, CNN reports. However, the actual number of deaths from medical mistakes may be much higher.
Medical errors take many forms. Common examples include:
- Operating on the wrong patient;
- Leaving surgical tools inside patients;
- Operating on the wrong side of the body;
- Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis;
- Amputating the wrong limb;
- Removing the wrong organ;
- And pharmacy mistakes.
If you or a loved one was the victim of medical malpractice, contact Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP. You may be entitled to compensation for health-care expenses, lost wages and non-economic damages.
A personal-injury lawyer in New York City can evaluate your case, gather evidence and help you pursue the maximum settlement. Our attorneys have more than seven decades of combined experience.
Call 212-221-5999 today to schedule a free initial consultation. Until then, read on to learn more about the recent study:
Medical Errors May Contribute to 9.5 Percent of Deaths in the United States
The Johns Hopkins study demonstrated that medical mistakes have reached epidemic levels. The data suggests that these errors contribute to 9.5 percent of deaths in the United States – approximately 700 fatalities per day. This is a stark increase from figures published in the 1999 Institute of Medicine report, which suggested that preventable medical mistakes cause up to 98,000 deaths annually.
What contributes to these errors? Each case is unique, but the most common causes of medical malpractice include:
- Poor communication among hospital staff;
- Inadequate preparation before surgery;
- Drug or alcohol use by doctors;
- Pharmacists who provide the wrong medication to patients;
- Pharmacists who provide medication that was intended for a different patient;
- And physician incompetence.
Are there steps that patients can take to prevent medical malpractice? Unfortunately, most of these cases are entirely out of the patients’ control. However, you may be able to prevent medical mistakes by:
- Confirming that your primary care physician, nurses and other doctors are communicating;
- Making sure doctors and nurses wash their hands;
- Checking the labels on your prescriptions;
- And asking doctors to type prescriptions rather than writing them by hand.
If you or a loved one sustained an injury or illness due to a health-care worker’s negligence, contact Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP. A medical malpractice attorney in New York will guide you through the claims process.
Our lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients. We will give your case the individual attention that it deserves. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling 212-221-5999