Medical errors killing many Americans
Cancer and heart disease are at the top of the Centers for Disease Control’s list of the major causes of death in the United States, just as they have been for years. Heart disease is in the top spot, followed by cancer. But there is a strong contender for third place – “medical errors.”
A 2016 article in The BMJ – a leading international medical publication – points out that death certificates in the U.S. have no place to list medical errors. If there were, the article’s authors contend, medical error “would rank as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.”
In 2016, CBS News reported on the rise of medical errors as a major cause of death in the United States. According to the news agency, authors of The BMJ article analyzed death records that spanned eight years. They concluded “that more than 250,000 Americans die due to medical mishaps every year.”
The authors, a professor of surgery and a researcher at Johns Hopkins Hospital, say a place for medical error should be included on U.S. death certificates. If not, they say the United States will have no accurate barometer of what is killing Americans and how to reduce the death toll.
In 2012, The BMJ reported on a 25-year summary of malpractice lawsuits in the U.S. caused by “diagnostic errors” and concluded that the errors appeared to be “the most costly and most dangerous of medical mistakes” in the United States. The researchers studied the consequences of these diagnostic errors by analyzing “closed, paid malpractice claims.”
Who is at fault when medical care goes wrong?
There are a number of ways medical care can go awry. While doctors make errors, so do nurses and others who provide medical services. Hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can also commit medical errors. Finding out who is at fault for the mistake that cost the life of a loved one, or left you or a family member with a chronic disability, is the first step in filing a malpractice lawsuit.
The next step is proving legal liability. You must show that the medical provider owed “a duty” to the patient and he or she violated the applicable standard of care, causing the injury.
Wayne Wright has been representing victims of medical errors for 40 years
His accolades attest to his expertise. Wayne Wright is one of America’s top trial lawyers. His legal awards demonstrate his devotion to those who have been injured as he upholds the highest standards of the legal profession on their behalf. Clients only pay fees, agreed upon in advance, when Wayne Wright wins their case. Calls and evaluations are free.
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