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Todd A. Ramlow

Medical Mistakes and Errors Third Leading Cause of Death In U.S.

When you are sick, injured, or suffering from a chronic disease, you expect your doctor or hospital to provide the care you need. Whether it is a change in medication or a surgical procedure, you trust that the actions being taken are in your best interests.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Medical mistakes and errors have become an increasingly common problem, and the ramifications can be life-threatening. A new study asserts the types of mistakes being made, and how those mistakes often go unreported.

Medical Mistakes and Errors Go Unreported

Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiles a report on the most common causes of death in the U.S. Typically leading the list are diseases such as heart disease and cancer, as well as accidental injuries. The list is generally based on medical billing code systems, which lists the types of conditions and treatments patients received when they passed.

In May of 2016, doctors and researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Center wrote the CDC and asked them to change the data they used in formulating this list, urging them to consider using clinical data instead. Medical Center researchers assert that these numbers are far more reliable and reflect the fact that while medical errors and mistakes often go unreported by doctors and hospitals, they are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Common Types of Medical Errors

Based on current research Johns Hopkins estimates that medical errors are responsible for close to ten percent of all deaths in this country, killing more than 250,000 people each year and injuring millions more. Common types of errors include the following:

  • Diagnostic errors, resulting in missed or delayed diagnosis;
  • Surgical errors, such as performing a botched procedure, or performing the wrong type of surgery on a patient;
  • Medication errors, which involve prescribing the wrong medication or in the wrong amount;
  • Hospital-based infections, caused by a lack of sanitation procedures, allowing bacteria to spread;
  • Preventable adverse effects, caused by inadequate records, poor communications between providers, and failures in reviewing the patient’s health records.

While doctors and hospitals may try to avoid liability by failing to admit when these types of mistakes happen, making the public aware of the situation is an important first step in making sure patients get the care they need.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you have been the victim of a medical mistake or error, contact our premises liability attorney right away. At Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd, we provide the aggressive legal representation you need to uncover medical mistakes and errors when they occur. We can advise you on how to hold medical providers accountable, so that you can get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.

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