When people are seriously ill, they seek treatment at a hospital to get well. Although physicians and other hospital staff are capable of amazing things, they are equally capable of making simple mistakes. Unfortunately, when a doctor makes a simple medical error, the consequences can be life threatening.
According to the seminal 1999 study, “To Err Is Human,” as many as 100,000 Americans die each year due to preventable medical mistakes. What is worse, more recent studies indicate that this may only be the tip of the ice burg: in January of this year, a report on Medicare patients found that hospital staff did not report 86 percent of harms done to patients. As the study pointed out, if hospitals cannot track medical mistakes accurately, there is little hope that they can prevent them effectively.
Part of the problem with medical errors is the complexity of the practice of medicine. No matter what the mistake – whether a surgeon nicks a blood vessel, a nurse administers an incorrect dosage of medication, or a staff member inadequately sanitizes a bathroom – there is a genuine danger of severe injury to patients.
Advocacy groups are working with hospitals and medical professionals to make hospitals safer, but these efforts have limits. Indeed, no matter what safety protocols are implemented, mistakes will continue to happen.
A Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has suffered injury due to the negligence of a physician or other medical personnel, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. A medical malpractice lawyer can assess your case and help you get the compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney today.