We rightfully hold medical providers to a high standard. This is because when doctors, nurses, pharmacy workers, aides and other medical professionals err, the impact is devastating. Serious injuries or even death are real possibilities unless our healthcare providers act with the utmost care.
Medical errors can have both immediate and long-lasting effects. Birth injuries like shoulder dystocia, Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy or brachial plexus injuries can leave a child with permanent physical and mental developmental delays. These cause life-long disability, the need for ongoing medical treatment and general hardship, both for the child and his or her family.
On a larger scale, the collective impact of medical negligence is both sad and shocking.
Proof of nationwide systemic issues
A research study by the Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence at Johns Hopkins hospital shows that medical providers misdiagnose an estimated 12 million people annually. These misdiagnoses cause more than 80,000 deaths and four million injuries. The total toll of medical malpractice is even more disheartening: an estimated 170,000 additional patients lose their lives from other forms of medical negligence.
Misdiagnosis is not the only potentially fatal type of medical malpractice. Others include:
- Delayed diagnosis or a failure to diagnose, especially heart attack, stroke, brain aneurysms and cancer
- Surgical errors, including wrong body part operations, inadequate supervision of patients under anesthesia, ignored respiratory distress and more
- Medication errors, like giving the wrong medication (for example, administering the powerful anesthetic Diprivan instead of the antibiotic/antifungal Diflucan, or giving a patient estrogen supplement Enjuvia instead of diabetes medication Januvia), giving the wrong dosage or concentration, administering a medication meant for one patient to another patient, or failing to account for interactions/allergies
- Hospital-acquired infections due to inadequate cleaning or sterilization protocols
Medical errors are actually one of the leading causes of death in America, resulting in more deaths than the combined total of car accidents, flu, diabetes, pneumonia and suicide. If someone you love is suffering from the impact of medical negligence, reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights.