Medical Negligence Results in around 440,000 Death Each Year

by David Zevan on Oct. 30, 2014

Accident & Injury Wrongful Death Accident & Injury  Medical Malpractice Accident & Injury 

Summary: A conservative estimate by the federal government had shown that around 98,000 Americans die every year because of medical negligence.

A new study has revealed that the actual figure is closer to 440,000 deaths annually. The study, published in the Journal of Patient Safety, was aimed at updating information on patient deaths caused by medical errors. While the Institute of Medicine and medical professionals have consistently indicated that the number of American deaths caused by medical errors is lower than 100,000, their figure centered on 1984 data.

The Frequency of Medical Negligence

In the study, medical records and research published between 2008 and 2011 were carefully studied by researchers. Their findings showed that the actual number of deaths linked to preventable medical errors was more than 440,000 every year. Injuries caused by preventable medical errors were around ten to twenty times higher than previously thought. The frequency of preventable medical errors was described by researchers as an epidemic. St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys believe that it is necessary to take this problem seriously and to make the figures available to the public to find a way to lower them.

How Medical Negligence Happens

Providing medical care is quite complex at all levels, and doctors normally provide the best possible care to their patients. Some of the factors that contribute to inadequate performance in hospitals include outdated and one-sided rules and procedures on proper patient care and the lack of continuous training among doctors. While some injuries caused by medical errors are noticed immediately, some injuries are noticed only after time has passed. For instance, a patient receiving intravenous treatment using an infected needle may not discover its effect until quite late.

Steps Taken to Reduce Medical Negligence

Hospitals, medical professionals, and patients can take steps to reduce the rate of preventable medical errors. Engaging the patient, regular communication with the patient to identify correct diagnosis, consciously dealing with the cause of the injury, and transparency and full accountability in case of an error are some interventions that were recommended by the researchers.

Despite the high cost brought about by medical errors, the state and federal government limit the liability of doctors and put a maximum threshold on compensation for medical malpractice. States with limitations on medical malpractice compensation put patients at risk of additional injuries due to negligence.

The judicial system provides a venue for patients and their families to hold negligent medical professionals and institutions liable for these mistakes. A medical malpractice lawsuit allows patients to hold medical professionals accountable for mistakes and to receive appropriate compensation. If you have suffered injuries due to medical negligence, consult Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200. We will work on your behalf to obtain suitable compensation for your injuries.

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