A recent study published in Journal of Patient Safety suggests that current estimates of the number of fatal mistakes made by physicians in the United States are far too low. The study found that twice as many patients, between 210,000 and 440,000 patients per year, suffer from preventable medical harm that contributes to their deaths. Previous studies done in this area had suggested there were far less fatal injuries as a result of medical errors. A study done in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine suggested that 98,000 people a year died from mistakes made in hospitals. Another study, performed in 2010 by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services suggested that the number was around 180,000 deaths per year.
The American Hospital Association has disputed these findings, and has indicated that the AHA has more confidence in the Institute of Medicine’s 98,000 number found in the 1999 study. However, if the new estimates are accurate, medical malpractice would be considered the third leading cause of death in America, with only heart disease and cancer killing more Americans. Irrespective of which study is more accurate, there are far too many deaths in the U.S. caused by the negligence of medical providers.
Medical malpractice cases take many forms, but the common thread is that people trusted to care for a patient are responsible for serious harm that could have been avoided. When a medical provider is determined to be legally responsible for your injuries during medical care or treatment, they may be liable for the harms they caused. The attorneys at Suthers & Harper have been very successful at holding doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacists, and other health care providers accountable for medical mistakes or negligent care throughout Georgia and South Carolina. If you feel that you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of medical malpractice, call Suthers & Harper at 1-800-320-2384 or go to www.sutherslaw.com for more information.