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700 U.S. Deaths per Day Caused by Medical Errors

A new analysis shows that more than 250,000 deaths each year in the United States are caused by medical mistakes – an eight-year study that totals nearly 700 deaths per day because of medical error. The deaths caused by medical error involve a wide range of medical mistakes, from the administration of the wrong prescription drug to operating on the wrong patient or body part. Thousands of medical malpractice cases each year have put the healthcare industry in the spotlight. Any victim of medical malpractice in Illinois’ largest city may contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer to learn how to seek justice for these life-changing and sometimes fatal mistakes.

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Infographic, medical errors

Medical Error Third Leading Cause of Death
The results of a study were recently released reporting the main causes of death in the United States. The study was conducted between 2000 and 2008 by researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics at Johns Hopkins University. The top cause of death during that eight-year period was reported as heart disease, followed by cancer and thirdly medical error. Medical error totaled an annual amount of around 9.5% of all deaths in the United States, or more than 250,000 deaths per year. That number is larger than deaths caused by major diseases like Alzheimer’s and Diabetes or even common causes like strokes and accidents. Although researchers were able to report the number of deaths caused by medical error using a wide variety of sources, the exact cause of those deaths was not commonly reported in detail by medical professionals.

Medical Malpractice – A Topic That is Not Discussed
Medical malpractice is a topic frequently swept under the rug by the healthcare industry and medical professionals. The fact is that medical errors are not required to be described in detail by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention leaves a vast collection of vague “medical error” data reports. As the Johns Hopkins study revealed, deaths due to medical error were rarely reported in detail. Compared with earlier studies of medical mistakes, research has also shown that the numbers have not changed much. In a world of developing technologies and life-changing medical advances, one might think that cases of medical error would have fallen in the past decade. But, research has shown the opposite.

These Mistakes Can Cost the Lives of Patients
These “not talked about” medical mistakes can cause not only major health issues for patients, but even severe injury or death. Medical malpractice is defined by Illinois law as an injury or death that results from the breach by a medical professional or institution from their normal standards of care. That “breach of normal standards” could be anything from a misdiagnosis to a misguided surgery. If a healthcare provider or hospital is responsible for an injury, a medical malpractice case may be viable. If death results from the medical error, the family of the victim may bring a wrongful death case against the medical provider. Without the right amount of data available, it is hard to determine the leading causes of medical error. But, many cases have been brought in to the public eye, reporting medical mistakes such as birth injuries, surgical mistakes and misdiagnosis.

Some common types of reported medical mistakes can include:

  • Birth injuries, some resulting in cerebral palsy
  • Eye surgery or Lasik surgery errors
  • Senior Abuse or Nursing Home Abuse
  • Emergency Room Accidents & Hospital Malpractice
  • Improper Administration of Anesthesia
  • Surgical or Operation Errors
  • Diagnostic Mistakes
  • Prescription of Wrong Medication
  • Unauthorized Medical Procedures
  • Doctor-Patient Confidentiality Breaches

These are just a few examples of common cases of medical malpractice. There are likely many other instances where medical error has not been reported correctly or where victims have not sought out financial compensation for their injuries. From misdiagnosis to surgical injuries or the administration of the wrong medication, medical mistakes in Illinois are a serious problem that should be addressed by the healthcare community. For the victims of medical malpractice and their families in Illinois, a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer can advise the right course of action.

The world of medical malpractice is wide. Although researchers have now compiled data showing the number of medical error cases in the United States per year, there is little data showing the exact causes of these errors. By researching past lawsuits, reviewing common medical mistakes and consulting with a professional attorney, victims of medical malpractice can determine if their specific case is grounds for legal action against a medical professional or healthcare institution. Any victims of possible medical malpractice in Illinois’ largest city may seek advice from a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer to learn how to proceed. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can help an injured patient seek financial aid for their disability, compensation for their medical bills, or help a grieving family seek damages for their tragic loss.