When you’re sick, you rely on your doctor and other medical professionals to take care of you to the best of their abilities. Unfortunately, that’s not always what happens, and medical malpractice ensues. Medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States, surpassed in number only by deaths from cancer and heart disease. Most of the medical malpractice cases seen in today’s courts have one thing in common: they’re 100-percent preventable if not for the incompetence, careless actions, or lack of care provided by doctors, nurses, specialists, surgeons and others tasked with caring for their patients and doing no harm. If you or someone you love has fallen victim to medical malpractice, you have a right to file a claim to seek compensation for your injuries. SMT Legal can help.
Common Mistakes in Medical Field
Mistakes happen, but you trust your doctor and medical team to do everything within their power to prevent any harm from befalling you. Some of the most common mistakes that occur are as follows:
- Failing to diagnose a condition or disease in a timely manner
- Adverse drug effects
- Central line-associated bloodstream infections
- Labor and/or birth injuries
- Surgical site infections
- Surgery performed at an incorrect site
- Venous thrombosis (blood clots)
- Medication mix-ups
- Medical record mix-ups
Statistics on Medical Malpractice
Statistics on medical malpractice include:
- Approximately 225,000 people die each year from a form of medical malpractice, ranging from incorrect medication dosages to surgical errors or wrong diagnosis.
- Medical malpractice is the third common cause of death in the U.S.
- Only 2 percent of medical malpractice victims file claims for compensation; even fewer receive compensation for their injury, affected health, or pain and suffering.
- An average of 195,000 hospital deaths in America was due to medical errors that were potentially preventable (circa 2002).
- It’s estimated that approximately 12,000 people die per year from unnecessary surgery.
- Half of the medical malpractice suits are filed against practicing surgeons, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
- According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 106,000 patients die every year due to adverse effects from their medication.
- It’s estimated by the Institute of Medicine that medication errors are the leading cause of medical errors, with approximately 1.5 million people suffering injury from these mistakes every year.
When Does Misdiagnosis Qualify as Malpractice?
Misdiagnosis does not automatically qualify as medical malpractice, as medicine is not an exact science. However, it may be considered malpractice if your doctor failed to get your medical history or order appropriate tests for the illness, or recognize the symptoms of an illness. A malpractice claim only has any merit if you suffer an injury, loss, or damage from misdiagnosis and consequent treatment.