When patients suffer due to medical malpractice, the source of the incident is typically correlated with some of the most egregious errors that have to do with negligence. We hold doctors, nurses, and most health care professionals to a high standard, and as such, we expect much from them. We place ourselves under their care and feel confident in their knowledge and skill to handle a medical situation appropriately.
The problem with this is that errors can happen quite frequently in the practice of medicine, sad to say. Even then, medical staff are trained to respond to issues before they can become much more serious problems that can incapacitate a patient or even threaten his or her life.
Below, we discuss five of the most surprising facts about medical malpractice that have been known to occur in modern medicine.
1. Medical malpractice ranks third in the nation for causes of death.
Medical malpractice comes just behind heart disease and cancer. This statistic comes from the Journal of American Medical Association. The high incidence of medical malpractice directly correlates to the billions of dollars paid out by insurance companies to victims and their families.
2. “Never events” can occur up to 4, 000 times each year.
A “never event” refers to a medical procedure that should never happen. This might include leaving a foreign object or a surgical instrument, such as a scalpel, inside of the patient’s body, operating on the wrong body part, or performing the wrong or unnecessary surgical procedures, as examples.
3. Misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical malpractice.
An incorrect diagnosis not only means that the patient is receiving the wrong form of treatment, but also that the patient’s actual medical condition is not being treated appropriately. In fact, the patient’s condition could even worsen because the illness was not identified properly and thus, the wrong treatment was prescribed. Proper diagnoses are crucial, particularly in cases such as cancer, where early detection can mean the difference between life or death.
4. Only one incident is officially recorded for every four that occur.
Whether it is an injury or death, it takes four incidents before anything is added to a medical record.
5. Doctors are responsible for less than five percent of half of the reported medical malpractice cases.
In other words, the same five percent of doctors are making life-threatening errors for patients over and over. It is a wonder how these doctors continue to practice medicine when they continuously commit the same errors of involving medical negligence. For those who have personally suffered or who have had a loved one suffer, they may be able to take action in a medical malpractice lawsuit to reclaim a portion of the damages and suffering caused by the incident.
Are you looking for legal guidance for you or a loved one for your medical malpractice suit? Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers are well-versed in the areas of medical negligence and injury matters, and we have experience fighting on both sides of the courtroom.
Please contact Cavanagh Law Group today to schedule a free case review.