When we think of the leading causes of death in the United States, we think of stroke, flu/pneumonia, accidents, and respiratory diseases. However in a report from earlier this summer, research has found that medical errors are actually HIGHER than all of these causes of death! In fact, over 251,000 Americans die each year due to medical errors! Only heart disease and cancer outnumber medical errors as the most common causes of death in the United States.
This is absolutely terrifying! Horror stories of medical mixups, wrong patient surgery, missed diagnosis, slipped scalpels, and other preventable errors can all be medical errors which result in death. This finding was foreshadowed in 1999, where an Institute of Medicine report labeled preventable medical errors an “epidemic” which needed to be more thoroughly researched and guarded.
What is even scarier is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which tracks causes of death such as medical errors, does not requiring the reporting of medical errors or noting medical errors through billing codes. Therefore, we really do not know the full extent of medical errors and the number is likely higher—it could even be much higher!
Preventable medical errors may be the result of medical malpractice. Medical negligence is where a medical professional has failed to exercise the degree of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional would have exercised in similar circumstances. This is known as the standard of care. Essentially, medical negligence means that a medical professional acted below the standard of care.
To establish a cause of action of negligence, a victim must establish a duty (the standard of care), that the medical professional breached such duty, and that the breach of such duty caused the damages or injuries.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.