Deaths due to medical errors underreported
Death is inevitably a part of life. Most hope that when the time comes the end will be peaceful and follow a long, good life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. At times, a life could be cut short by the negligent actions of others. It is possible those actions could even be at the hands of people who are trusted to provide lifesaving medical care.
A study recently conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine revealed this may happen more often than anyone realized. According to that study, in the United States, medical errors rank third in the cause of death. Only heart disease and cancer rank higher.
All told, the study, which was published in The BMJ, found more than 250,000 people die in the United States annually as a result of medical errors. In reaching this conclusion, the report relied upon the analysis of previous research. Medical errors encompass a wide range of activities including medication errors, misdiagnoses and surgical complications.
Surprised by this information? If so, you are probably not alone. According to the study’s authors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not include medical error on its annual list when it comes to reporting the top causes of death in the country. Instead, currently, the mortality statistics published by the CDC report only the condition that the deceased person sought treatment for, not the actual reason for the person’s demise, leaving medical error unaccounted for. This means if someone who has cancer dies due to a medical mistake in the course of treatment, his or her cause of death would be listed as “cancer”.
The lawyers at The Skolnick Weiser Law Firm, LLC, understand the complexities of medical malpractice cases beginning with recognizing when a medical mistake is in fact medical malpractice. They can help determine whether a medical error justifies legal action. For a free consultation please call them toll free at 800-566-5002, or contact them online.