stethoscope and gavelMedical errors are a scary thought. We go into a hospital trusting that the doctor will provide us with the best care possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and statistics may prove the issue is more prominent than once thought.

According to a recent study published by British Medical Journal, medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States if they were listed as a fatal condition. Researchers from Johns Hopkins suggest that medical errors result in more than 250,000 deaths a year, making it more fatal than chronic respiratory diseases.

Unfortunately, a number of medical errors go unobserved on official records, thus they do not get counted in fatality statistics. This is because death certificates do not require as much information and the codes provided by insurance billing do not capture medical or human error as factors in the system.

The study cites one case in which a patient had successfully undergone organ transplant surgery, but later returned to the hospital for a non-specific complaint. During testing, the doctor allegedly accidently cut the liver unknowingly. The patient returned with internal bleeding before going into cardiac arrest and later dying. The death certificate cited cardiovascular issue as the cause of death despite the cut being the actual reason.

Previous studies have shown that the issue of undercounted medical errors expands past the borders of the United States and is a worldwide problem.

At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin, our Florida medical malpractice attorneys know that doctors are human and they can make mistakes. However, their errors should not go unnoticed. They should be held accountable and the system denoting medical errors as a cause of death should be fixed.

If you lost someone you loved as a result of medical error, you may have the right to take legal action and seek compensation on their behalf. Our firm can show you how and stand by your side, fighting for the justice you deserve. Call us today to learn more about your options.

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