In the United States, medical errors have become quite widespread. In fact, a recent Johns Hopkins study showed that medical errors are the third leading cause of wrongful death. This is only surpassed by cancer and heart disease. When an injury occurs due to medical malpractice, our medical malpractice lawyer Orlando can help file a lawsuit against the healthcare provider, hospital, nurse or doctor who acted negligently and caused the injury.
$3 billion was paid out in medical malpractice settlements in 2012. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). There are other studies that show this figure to be much higher, as much as 440,000.
“People don’t just die from heart attacks and bacteria, they die from system-wide failings and poorly coordinated care,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Martin Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “It’s medical care gone awry.”
Despite all the attempts to reform our health care system in an effort to provide safe health care, medical errors and medical malpractice account for approximately 10% of deaths in the U.S. And the Johns Hopkins researchers say this figure is probably an undercount. That’s because the CDC doesn’t take into account the deaths that occur in such places considered nonhospital settings such as outpatient clinics, nursing homes, or even homes where caregivers provide care for fragile patients.
In a report by Dr. Makary and Dr. Michael Daniel of Johns Hopkins medical errors were defined as lapses in lapses in judgment, skill or coordination of care; mistaken diagnoses; system failures that lead to patient deaths or the failure to rescue dying patients, as well as preventable complications of care. Not all medical errors are due to bad doctors; some can be from lack of proper training, bad coordination, problems with the system or management. Any of a number of factors can result in the wrong diagnosis, the wrong treatment, or worse.
“It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care,” Makary said.
But even with these statistics, many people may be unaware of what exactly constitutes medical malpractice, and how this differs from a mistake that is not legally actionable. Not every mistake rises to the level of medical malpractice, but malpractice always involves mistakes in judgment that lead to tragedy.