Medical Negligence is the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

In 2012, more than $3 billion was spent on medical malpractice payouts. Perhaps even more alarming is the fact the medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind only heart disease and cancer.

According to a study published in the BMJ, medical negligence is a far more pervasive problem than most people realize. Some experts are even calling it a major public health concern. But the way that patient deaths are attributed has led to widespread underreporting of the true effects of medical negligence.

When a patient dies, physicians, medical examiners, and coroners create death certificates that contain codes that correspond to certain causes of death. Any cause of death that doesn’t fit into one of these codes, such as human error, is not captured. Inadequate skill, poor judgment, diagnostic errors, and communication breakdowns that lead to a patient’s death are therefore factors that are not taken into account – instead, the cause of death is listed as the underlying condition or illness that the person was seeking treatment for. For example, if a patient presented with symptoms of appendicitis and the doctor misdiagnosed the condition, and the patient died as a result of not receiving timely treatment, the cause of death would be listed as appendicitis rather than, say, “failure to treat.”

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

When doctors make careless errors in the diagnosis or treatment of an illness, the results can be extremely harmful or even fatal to a patient. While not all doctor errors constitute medical malpractice, many mistakes are clear evidence of negligence for which the medical professional can and should be held liable. If you or a loved one has been injured due to an error by a physician, nurse, or hospital, you should immediately contact a skilled attorney who can assess your potential case and eligibility for damages. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for the costs of your medical care, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and more.

Traywick Law Offices is a knowledgeable law firm known for tenacious advocacy and big results. Our firm handles the full range of medical malpractice cases, including birth injuries, surgical errors, medication errors, anesthesia errors, and diagnostic errors. If you have been injured and have questions about your legal rights, contact a Charleston medical malpractice lawyer at our firm to discuss your case at no cost to you.

Call today to get started: (843) 606-5909.

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