Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in United States

 Posted on May 12, 2016 in Medical Malpractice

medical errors, Illinois personal iniury attorneyThere is an insidious, silent killer in the United States – one that patients are often oblivious to, doctors and hospitals refuse to talk about, and is now considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S., placing it just below cancer and heart disease. In total, it claims anywhere from 250,000 to 400,000 deaths per year, yet there is no system in place to effectively track or prevent these deaths. Even more disturbing is that this killer – otherwise known as medical malpractice  – occurs at the hands of those who are supposed to heal.

What You Do Not Know Can Hurt You

Sick people go to hospitals to get better, but hundreds of thousands will never leave. Victims of poorly coordinated care, preventable infections, system failures, falls, or any number of other, preventable causes, these patients will die a wrongful death at the hands of the doctor, nurse, or surgeon treating them. No one – not even their family – may fully understand the death because those same system failures that allowed the death are often used to cover up its true cause and nature. And therein lies one of the major contributing factors to this American epidemic.

Perpetuated by Lack of Tracking, Awareness, and Preventative Measures

It has been nearly two decades since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published their report, To Err is Human. In it, they estimated that as many as 98,000 people died from preventable medical errors each year. Some experts believed the numbers were higher, even back then, because the estimates were based on outdated information, but it still serves as a point of interest and shows that the problem is getting worse instead of better.

It is not for lack of trying, necessarily. Many doctors, hospitals, and nurses have worked hard to improve patient safety and hospital performance. But there is no way of really tracking errors or why they happen. There is no system that allows hospitals, doctors, or nurses study or examine the mistakes that they or others have made. Not even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks or documents the deaths caused by preventable medical errors. And that makes any efforts at improvement misguided, ineffective, and misdirected.

Victim of Medical Malpractice? Our Attorneys Can Help

In a perfect world, hospitals, doctors, and nurses would stop fearing medical malpractice lawsuits and consider them a learning opportunity. They would use the knowledge gained from the mistakes that caused those suits to prevent similar deaths in the future. And they would craft safety plans based on real results. But this is not a perfect world, and there are patients and families that have suffered because of the unwillingness to expose, discuss, and manage preventable deaths.

If you or a loved one has suffered a wrongful death or injury because of a medical mistake, you may be owed damages for your losses. The skilled and experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Tomasik Kotin Kasserman can help. Dedicated to advocacy and justice, we will protect your rights and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve. Call 312-605-8800 and schedule your free initial consultation today.


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