Serious injuries and deaths caused by hospital errors and medical mistakes have hit record highs. In fact deaths attributed to medical errors are ranked third after heart disease and cancer.
It is an astonishing and little known fact that the third leading cause of death in America is in fact hospital errors. Studies reviewing the cause of mortality often overlook the role of preventable medical errors.
Experts estimate that nearly 400,000 Americans die each year because of a preventable medical error. This is nearly 1,000 deaths every day. The number is simply staggering.
Professor John T. James, a medical researcher who authored A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Association with Hospital Care, found that hospitals are making more mistakes because of increased demand for their services.
Additionally, James found that the number of deaths caused by hospital and medical errors may be much higher because physicians are very reluctant to document and report such errors. The five most common medical errors include:
- Prescription errors
- Catheter infections
- Central line blood stream infections
- Injury from falls
- Birth injuries
Two-thirds of surveyed medical professionals admitted to failing to report a serious medical error that led to injury. This means that many patients who were harmed were never even informed.
The consequence of these preventable hospital errors is that 400,000 Americans needlessly lose their lives each year.
If you even suspect that a family member or a loved one has been injured by a hospital error, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Greg Coleman Law for a free consultation.