Many people in Louisiana are nervous about going to the doctor. We often fear what the doctor may find and what it means for our future. Yet going to the doctor and being accurately diagnosed and properly treated are key to long-term health. Competent medical care can improve a patient’s health. It can also save it.
But a newly released study is shedding light on how the medical industry is failing many people. According to the study, conducted by Johns Hopkins University, medical errors account for an estimated 250,000 deaths in the United States each year. This number is staggering, as it puts medical errors third on the list of causes of death, behind only heart disease and cancer. Researchers say zeroing in on a specific number is impossible at this time for a number of reasons, including the fact that death certificates often list the underlying condition that caused a death, even if medical error was the actual cause.
One major medical error contributing to numerous deaths is misdiagnosis. The Johns Hopkins research found that patients are misdiagnosed 37 percent of the time. Other leading medical errors are surgical and medication errors.
Though the medical field is making attempts to curtail medical errors, and much of the blame is placed on overworked doctors who do not have the time to properly attend to patients, the current situation is wholly unacceptable. Innocent individuals and their families are being forced to cope with the devastating physical, emotional, and financial losses that accompany medical errors. In order to impose accountability and recover compensation for their losses, these victims and their families may want to consider speaking to an attorney about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Source: Abilene Reporter News, “Medical errors a leading cause of death, study says,” Scott Kirk, May 23, 2016