In 2018, a study performed by Johns Hopkins found that approximately 251,000 people per year die due to medical negligence. The two leading medical conditions in front of it were cancer and heart disease. This goes to show how unfortunately common medical malpractice-related deaths are, even in our technologically advanced society. Some other studies say the actual number may be as high as 450,000 deaths per year. This could be due to poor documentation of the negligence and/or because the victim’s family did not pursue a lawsuit. But the main question is: why are there are so many medical malpractice-related deaths?
Understanding the Numbers
First, it’s important to recognize that the vast majority of doctor/hospital visits do not involve medical
negligence. Sometimes, unfortunate things happen that are not the fault of anyone. However, it is also
important to consider that less than 10% of medical errors are reported. So, on one hand,
medical negligence is technically rare, but on the other, it is extremely underreported.
The Current System Does Not Work
The number of deaths due to malpractice referenced above represents about 9.5% of all deaths
annually in the United States. That is more than deaths caused by stroke, accidents or
Medical negligence is not just limited to an individual health care provider’s mistake, or a
computer system malfunctions, it can also refer to actions taken (or not taken) by the healthcare
institution itself. A leading reason for patient death by medical negligence is the medical facility
being short-staffed. This can lead to all kinds of internal issues, like not being able to provide
adequate aftercare after surgery, or perhaps a staff member being overwhelmed and confusing
two patient’s medications. Remember how less than 10% of errors are reported? Compounding
that problem is the findings of a 2017 study 1 — only 15% of the actions that hospitals took in
response to reported errors involved system changes. Failing to take action to correct the errors
of the past only contributes to future errors.
Why are the Numbers so High?
Unfortunately, it is a combination of a broken reporting system, and the failure of institutions to
take action. Mistakes happen, but because so few errors are reported combined with the
presence of systematic problems present in healthcare, it is important to talk with an
experienced malpractice attorney if you think something went wrong. They will be able to
evaluate your specific case and, at a minimum, give you some clarity regarding the alleged negligence.
Patients who feel that they are victims of medical malpractice need their voices heard. An
experienced attorney will help make sure that you are not just a statistic.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today For Medical Negligence Case Help
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? You need to talk to an experienced team of local lawyers today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.
1 Anderson JG, Abrahamson K. Your Health Care May Kill You: Medical Errors. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2017;234:13-17. PMID: 28186008.