Hospital Errors Continue to Be Third Leading Cause of Death in US
Back in 2013, several studies estimated that around 440,000 Americans were losing their lives each year due to hospital errors and other forms of medical malpractice. If true, the number would put hospital errors as the third leading cause of death in the country. Now, a Johns Hopkins study recently released in 2016 has some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the original estimate of 440,000 could be a bit of an overshoot. The bad news is that their estimates still say around 250,000 deaths occur each year due to hospital errors, which still keeps it in the third spot for overall American deaths.
What is going on to cause so many hospital errors? According to the 8-year study and those that came before it, the menace is mostly everyday negligence and human error. Nontransparent reporting systems internalized in each hospital can make getting information about errors and malpractice difficult but it also causes problems for the hospitals themselves. Safe practices become complicated to administer if there is a lack of communication between doctors, nurses, clerks, and everyone else on staff. The result is unsafe medications, hazardous accidents, and dangerous infections.
As far as infections go, one study found that 18,000 Americans lose their lives to catheter- and colon-related infections each year while in a hospital. These forms of infections are the most common in medical facilities but also should be preventable with regular checkups on patients and proper treatments to stop them in the first place. Due to widespread infections and other dangers, The Leapfrog Group’s 2013 study ranked less than half of about 2,500 hospitals at an A on the safety scale; there were more Cs than As and 22 Fs.
It is unclear at this time if legislation will be enacted soon to try to curb this growing problem. What can be done now is that if you have been hurt or lost of a loved one due to hospital errors and medical malpractice, you can file a lawsuit against the negligent hospital or staff. By holding medical professionals accountable for their dangerous mistakes, you can do your part in helping the prevention of similar mistakes in the future.
When it comes time to file your claim, contact Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. Our Toledo personal injury attorneys have recovered millions for our clients and offer free case evaluations. Schedule yours today.