Medical malpractice is a serious issue that endangers patients everywhere. An alarming one in every seven patients will experience a medical error during their hospital visit that may endanger their health. In fact, according to an article from the Journal of Critical Care Medicine in 1995, patients in critical care experience almost two medical errors every day.
Many errors occur as a result of the multi-faceted and complex nature of modern health care. Prescriptions get misplaced, communications are disrupted, and treatments are miscalculated.
Though many incidents of medical malpractice are accidental, some have a more concerning origin. When Jackson Healthcare conducted a study on defensive medicine in 2010, 92% of U.S. physicians said they made some of their medical decisions not in the best interest of their patients, but to avoid costly and troublesome lawsuits.
Unfortunately, these questionable decisions often lead to more errors. Many medical errors result in injury, discomfort, and inconvenience, but some result in death. According to an Institute of Medicine report from 1999, unsafe practices and medical mistakes killed about 44,000 patients or more each year.
Fortunately, many of these problems could be prevented with proper care and attention to patient needs. As many as 134,000 Medicare beneficiaries experience adverse effects every month that are declared “clearly or likely preventable,” according to a government analysis from 2010. A later study from the Institute of Medicine in 2012 revealed that at least 33% of hospital patients suffer from some kind of preventable harm while staying at a hospital.
Too few people hold the medical professionals who harm them accountable. A mere one in eight preventable medical errors committed by professionals in hospitals result in malpractice claims. If you feel that your doctor, nurse or other care professional has caused you preventable harm, contact a lawyer as soon as possible and get the settlement you deserve.