How Many Deaths are Caused by Medical Errors?
When patients seek medical care, they expect to receive a proper diagnosis, treatment for their condition, and follow-up care as needed. Even with the understanding that some medical conditions cannot be prevented or ultimately cured, patients do not expect to suffer new or further harm, let alone death, at the hands of their caregiver.
Medical Errors and Preventable Death
Unfortunately, According to a Johns Hopkins study conducted by Dr. Martin Makary, medical errors result in more than 250,000 preventable deaths per year. While other studies suggest, the number may be as high as 440,000 per year.
Most medical errors are attributed to:
- Diagnostic errors, including misdiagnosis and under-diagnosis;
- Unnecessary tests or treatment and over-diagnosis;
- Medication errors;
- Delayed treatment;
- Failure to follow up;
- Surgical errors, including operating on the wrong body party, accidental hemorrhage, and anesthesia miscalculations;
- Failure to communicate;
- Healthcare-acquired infections like staph or wound infections;
- Reduced staffing; and
- Racial bias.
While deaths from medical errors were the third leading cause of death in the United States, new studies suggest that Covid-19 may replace it as number three in recent years.
Top Ten Concerns for Patient Safety in 2021
With the persistent and ever-growing concerns about medical error and patient safety, ECRI, a large non-profit patient advocacy group, released a list of their top ten considerations for patient safety in 2021.
These were as follows:
- Racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare;
- Emergency preparedness in aging services;
- Pandemic preparedness;
- Supply chain interruptions;
- Drug shortages;
- Telehealth workflow management;
- Improvised use of medical devices due to supply shortages;
- Methotrexate therapy;
- Peripheral vascular harm; and
- Aerosol-generating procedures.
How to Protect Yourself from Medical Errors
There is continuing awareness about medical errors and resulting deaths in private and professional medical communities. Until these errors can be eliminated, it is important to protect yourself from medical errors whenever possible.
When seeking advice from a medical professional, always do the following:
- Ask questions;
- Get a second opinion; and
- Bring someone with you to your appointments.
Stay involved in your care. Be your own best advocate. If something does not seem right to you, speak with the clinic or hospital patient-care representative. You are entitled to medical treatment that meets professional standards.
If you should suspect medical malpractice or find a medical error, speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to learn your legal rights and responsibilities.
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Contact Knapp & Roberts experienced Phoenix medical malpractice attorneys if you suspect you were the victim of medical malpractice or medical error. Keep in mind that medical errors can be committed by any health professional, not just a doctor or surgeon. If you are unsure about your right to sue, meet with one of our attorneys confidentially to discuss your case.
At Knapp & Roberts, not only do we care about you and your family, but we also care about justice. It is vital to hold medical providers responsible for their errors and to prevent them from hurting others in the future.
Contact us today!
Let us tell your story
we care, and we can help. Contact us 480-991-7677 or fill out the form below
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.