Medical malpractice may be the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a recent study from Johns Hopkins University. The researchers concluded at least 250,000 people die due to medical errors every year in this country - more than lower respiratory disease, accidental injuries and stroke.
According to CNN, the actual number of fatalities from medical errors may be much higher. Causes of death are often misreported or not attributed to medical negligence.
Mistakes can happen at any stage of the treatment process. According to USAttorneys.com, common examples of medical malpractice include:
· Pharmacy errors;
· Birth injuries;
· Medication defects;
· Performing surgery on the wrong patient, or the wrong side of the patient;
· Removing the wrong limb or organ;
· And late diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
If you sustained an injury or illness due to a health-care worker's mistake, contact The Bowling Law Firm. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income and other damages.
Call 877-757-3539 today to schedule a consultation with a brain injury lawyer in New Orleans. Until then, read on to learn more about medical malpractice in the United States:
What Percentage of Deaths Involve Medical Errors?
The Johns Hopkins University study revealed that medical mistakes could account for nearly 9.5 percent of fatalities in the United States. That's about 700 deaths per day.
This data is a substantial increase from figures in the 1999 Institute of Medicine report. The IOM's studies showed that only 98,000 deaths per year involve medical errors.
Despite advancements in medical tools and techniques, malpractice can happen for a multitude of reasons such as:
· Doctor's use of drugs or alcohol;
· Poor planning before surgery;
· Communication failure among medical team;
· And pharmacist fatigue or incompetence.
Although all of these problems are avoidable, there is often little that the patient can do to prevent a medical error. However, you might be able to minimize the risk by:
· Asking nurses and doctors to wash their hands;
· Confirming your name and the medication's name are correct on the prescription label;
· Requesting that doctors type prescriptions rather than handwriting them;
· And making sure your entire medical team, including your primary care physician, surgeon and nurses, are communicating.
Do I Have Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Just because your surgery, medication or treatment was unsuccessful does not mean you were the victim of medical negligence. Making a successful claim requires evidence that your health-care provider acted negligently, and that negligence led to a specific loss or injury.
Proving medical negligence often requires expert testimonies and an independent medical evaluation. This is a legally complex process, and a small mistake could hurt your ability to recover fair compensation.
If you were the victim of a doctor's negligence in Louisiana, contact The Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a New Orleans medical malpractice attorney with more than three decades of trial experience. Schedule a consultation today by calling 877-757-3539.