Medical Errors Causes More Than 250,000 Deaths Annually

Each year, many Connecticut patients suffer from medical mistakes. Medical errors are prevalent in hospitals and doctors’ offices across the U.S. and lead to many deaths. A study has revealed that the problem is even more pervasive than was previously thought.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t account for malpractice in its mortality rankings. The researchers found that medical malpractice leads to the deaths of more than 250,000 people every year in the U.S. The mistakes fell into a few primary categories, including failing to prevent adverse effects, diagnostic errors, system issues and mistakes in judgment, coordination of care and skill issues.

The researchers reviewed data from four studies that were conducted between 2000 and 2008. They found that an average of about 700 deaths happen each day as a result of medical mistakes. Their findings showed that medical mistakes accounted for more deaths than the CDC’s third-leading death cause by more than 100,000 annual fatalities. The researchers said that it is important for the CDC to include medical mistakes on its annual listings because the ranks are used to allocate research funds, meaning that not enough funds are currently devoted to finding ways to reduce medical mistakes.

When people are harmed because of medical errors, the medical personnel who acted negligently may be liable to pay damages in a resulting medical malpractice lawsuit. Experienced medical malpractice lawyers may evaluate the facts so that they can identify all of the potential defendants that should be named in the lawsuit. In addition to the negligent physician, other parties such as the nurses, medical staff, pharmacists and the hospital may all be potential defendants.