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Study Suggests Medical Mistakes Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States

Study Suggests Medical Mistakes Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States

A recent study from January of 2016 found that 1% of doctors nationwide caused nearly 33% of the country’s medical malpractice claims. Now, a new study came out that suggests medical mistakes are the third leading case of death in the United States.

From the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) comes a study from Johns Hopkins University, highlighting that only cancer and heart disease may top medical mistakes as a cause of death in the United States. A staggering estimate of 250,000 Americans die each year from a medical mistake, based on hospital admission records and literature review.

Researchers involved in the study made mention of the fact that there is no national statistic designed to measure the widespread prevalence of medical errors as a cause of death. To help reduce the common occurrence of medical mistake deaths, the study suggests that death certificates “could contain an extra field asking whether a preventable complication stemming from the patient’s medical care contributed to the death.”

When a Medical Mistake Is and Is Not Medical Malpractice

While medical mistakes cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, in all likelihood, that is not to say that every mistake is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit do not arise just because medical treatments fail to provide a desirable outcome or a mistake occurred.

Rather, medical malpractice lawsuits are justified when a medical professional fails to exercise due care when providing medical services. The due care standard is based on the medical standards established by professionals with similar educational backgrounds and medical experience within the same medical community. If a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional deviates from these established standards, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice.

Medical professionals may breach their duty of care by:

  • Not evaluating the health of the patient properly
  • Failing to look at the patient’s medical history
  • Not ordering the proper medical examinations for diagnostic purposes
  • Other acts considered medically negligent

Common medical issues that lead to a medical malpractice case include:

  • Birth injuries
  • Surgical errors
  • Prescription medication errors
  • Misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose the patient
  • Hospital negligence
  • Failing to obtain patient consent before a medical operation
  • And more

If you or a loved one has been the victim of Alabama medical malpractice, Noel B. Leonard will hold negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions. Noel is an Alabama medical malpractice lawyer who fights to obtain deserved compensation his clients need to heal and rebuild their lives. From his Foley office, Noel provides legal representation to victims of medical malpractice in Foley as well as injured victims in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties.

Contact Alabama injury lawyer Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation to discuss the facts of your Alabama medical malpractice case.


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