Study: Medical Malpractice 3rd Leading Cause of Death

Stethoscope Head Lying On Medicine Therapeutist Doctor Chest

Many may think that nightmare stories of medical negligence leading to serious physical injury and even death are rare exceptions. However, a 2016 study by patient-safety researchers shed some light on the impact medical malpractice truly has on the Country.

The study, led by a professor of surgery at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, finds that “medical errors” in hospitals and other health care facilities may now be the third leading cause of death in the Untied States, causing 251,000 deaths per year. The study was published in the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal).

As shocking as the numbers sound, it is possible that the findings of the Johns Hopkins study are on the low end.  A 2013 study published in the Journal of Patient Safety[1] claims the numbers of cases of medical negligence leading to preventable harm and death was estimated at 210,000 per year on the low end and could be as high as over 400,000 deaths per year.

The overwhelming majority of people injured by medical negligence never pursue legal action. This is likely since most people may not be aware that they were victims of medical malpractice.  Often patients are told by their doctors that injuries and death were unavoidable.

If you believe you or a loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an experience medical malpractice attorney immediately. When preventable medical error leads to patient harm, the patient has the right to take action.  At the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys strongly believe doctors and hospitals should be held liable when a patient suffers due to their negligence.  To learn more about your rights after being injured as a result of a surgical or other medical error, contact us today. A consultation with our medical malpractice team is completely confidential. Contact a Napoli Shkolnik medical malpractice attorney to discuss your specific circumstances.

[1] A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, Journal of Patient Safety, John T. James, PhD, 2013.