A John Hopkins study recently calculated that more than 250,000 people die each year due to medical error in the U.S. This new study propels medical error or malpractice into the third leading cause of death in the U.S. surpassing respiratory disease, which kills 150,000 people per year. The study concluded that 10% of all U.S. deaths are now due to medical error and that medical errors are an under-recognized cause of death.
A major survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago in affiliation with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement found that “twenty-one percent of Americans say they have personally experienced a medical error and 31 percent have been personally involved with the care of someone who has experienced an error”. However, the survey also found that people often don’t report errors because they don’t think it will make a difference, and four in ten say they didn’t know how to report the error.
The survey continues to point out that, “Fifty-two percent of adults with medical error experience say a health care provider said nothing was wrong when there really was an issue”. Furthermore, the survey found that half of the participants that experienced medical error attribute the error to misdiagnosis and some see medication-related issues that contribute to the medical error.
Although medical error and negligence is under reported, there have been substantial verdicts recently within the U.S.. On October 3, 2018, AP reported that a jury in Athens, Ohio awarded $44.5 million in a medical negligence lawsuit against an Ohio laboratory. The family sued in 2014 over a misdiagnosed ear infection resulting in a brain infection and paralysis of a 9-year-old boy.
Some of the most common types of medical errors include:
- Instruments, tools, or other objects that are left in the patient following surgery
- Surgery on the wrong site or surgery errors
- Treatment without informed consent from the patient
- Wrong medication administered to patient
- Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and/or failure to diagnose
- Childbirth injuries, negligence during childbirth
- Anesthesia errors
Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex and regulated by rules that vary from state to state. If you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice or negligence, it is essential to get representation from a law firm who has experience handling medical malpractice lawsuits. Dana and Dana have handled a vast array of medical malpractice cases while consistently producing strong result for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.