Medical Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Fatality in the United StatesMarch 18, 2019
As patients, we put our trust in the hands of the physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who are responsible for our care. Because of that trust, we sometimes forget that doctors are human, and can make mistakes. Unfortunately, depending on the nature of the mistake, they can have fatal consequences. According to a study from Johns Hopkins Medical School, over 250,000 people are fatally injured each year in the United States from medical errors, making it the third leading cause of fatality in this country. Only heart disease and cancer are responsible for more fatalities. If your health has been jeopardized by a medical error, a skilled and experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help.
Unlike fatalities related to gun violence or opioid overdoses, which receive more media attention, fatalities caused by medical errors rarely appear in the headlines. According to the lead author of the study, medical errors do not get the same attention as other issues because they do not appear on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s report of the top-ranked causes of fatality. Therefore, it does not receive the funding and attention necessary to properly address the problem.
Medical Errors are a Systemic Problem
The author cautioned against jumping to the conclusion that these mistakes are caused by inherently bad healthcare professionals. Most medical mistakes are the result of widespread systemic problems, such as poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, lack of safety nets, and unwarranted changes in physician practice standards, which has been a long-standing issue in healthcare. Preventing medical errors and lowering healthcare costs will require consensus protocols that streamline the delivery of medicine. Ongoing research is necessary to come up with effective solutions to this problem.
Examples of Common Medical Errors
Not every medical error will warrant a medical malpractice lawsuit. It will need to meet the legal definition of medical malpractice. However, the following examples of medical errors account for many malpractice lawsuits:
- Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: If a healthcare professional fails to properly diagnose a patient’s condition, it could delay life-saving treatment.
- Childbirth Injuries: Fetal injuries, such as brain injuries, broken bones, and nerve damage can cause long-term health complications that require costly medical care. Some of these injuries may be caused by negligent prenatal care, while others are caused by negligence during childbirth.
- Medication Errors: These include prescribing the wrong medication, or an incorrect dosage of a medication.
- Anesthesia Errors: Even a small error in administering anesthesia can cause brain damage, permanent injuries, and even fatality.
- Surgical Errors: Examples of surgical errors include puncturing organs, operating on the wrong body part, or leaving surgical instruments in the body.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Medical Errors
If your health has been compromised by a medical error, you are urged to contact the highly skilled Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. Protecting your rights is our top priority. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.