It is a responsibility of doctors in Columbus to stay updated on trends
in medicine. One reason, of course, is that something doesn’t really
become a trend unless it is a safer or more effective treatment. Another
is that the way courts determine whether something is negligent medical
treatment is based on whether the treatment conforms to standard medical
care. If the treatment is out of date, it may be considered negligent.
One study that was recently published in the Journal of Patient Safety
indicates that the number of patients who die each year from negligent
medical care is much higher than previously estimated. In 1999, the Institute
of Medicine estimated that approximately 98,000 people died because of
medical malpractice each year. That number was later revised upward by
the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human
Services in 2010, yet this new study puts the annual number between 210,000
and 440,000 patients.
There has been some debate over whether this number is accurate. The American
Hospital Association believes that the Institute’s figure is a much
more reasonable number, but of course a higher number of fatal medical
errors is bad press for the Association. In a survey of this most recent
study, three independent patient safety researchers found the study to
If this new study is to be believed, medical malpractice would be the third-leading
cause of death in the United States, only behind heart disease and cancer.
Unlike heart disease and cancer, however, medical malpractice is caused
by someone, and that individual can be held liable under a medical malpractice lawsuit.