According to a study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, each year between 44,000 and 98,000 people lose their lives in the hospitals as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented, and many more are left injured. Even more terrifying medical malpractice data was revealed in the JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA), Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000. It shows that over 225,000 people die each year due to iatrogenic causes – instances where diagnosis, manner, or treatment of a medical provider caused injuries or death. Medical negligence has become the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Here are some of the alarming statistics stated by JAMA:
- 12,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery
- 7,000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals
- 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals
- 80,000 deaths/year from infections in hospitals
- 106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medication
In 2012 alone, more than $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, which translates to an average of one payout every 43 minutes. What exactly is medical malpractice? Medical malpractice is professional negligence on the part of a doctor or health care provider, an act that falls below the appropriate standard of care and results in injury or, unfortunately, even death. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries. How do you determine if someone is the victim of medical negligence? Medical malpractice can take many forms, and the list of examples is extremely long. Medical malpractice can include misdiagnosis, improper treatment, failure to treat, delay in treatment, failure to perform appropriate follow-up, prescription errors, etc. Who are the victims of medical malpractice? Anyone who receives any type or level of medical care can potentially become a victim. There are so many sad and distressing examples that range from cerebral palsy and other birth injuries to nursing home neglect and abuse, and too many to count in between – and, unfortunately, many of them remain unrecorded. There is no bigger joy for a parent than the birth of their child, and no parent ever wants to think of anything negative happening to their children. It is an extremely sad fact that, sometimes, due to medical malpractice, terrible things happen to an innocent, young life. Even more terrifying is when parents find out that their child’s death could have been prevented, and that their child has been injured or even died as a result of someone’s negligence. Often, medical malpractice becomes obvious to a lay -person only upon the review and analysis by medical experts. A malpractice claim exists if a provider’s negligence causes injury or damages to a patient. Victims of medical malpractice sometimes do not report or pursue their case – due to many factors, such as non-disclosure, lack of knowledge of what exactly happened, what to do about it, how to handle it, etc. Most malpractice victims who survive their ordeal suffer serious injuries and require lifelong medical care. And the number of victims who don’t survive is astounding. If you or a loved one were a victim of medical malpractice, you should take steps as soon as possible to learn about your rights and responsibilities in seeking compensation for the injuries or wrongful death. Sometimes you need a law firm that has medical experience as well as legal experience. The medical malpractice lawyers in Harrisburg, PA have decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases and know how to properly evaluate and handle your case. If you need a medical malpractice attorney Harrisburg PA, contact NOW LAW office today, and let our experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy lawyers help you. Call us today: 800-818-9608.