June 14, 2016

Pitts Carr and Alex Weatherby

Medical Errors are a Leading Cause of Death in America

doctors performing surgeryWhen you check yourself or a loved one into the hospital, you expect that you are going to emerge free of illness or disease. You do not assume that you will be leaving with more problems than when you started. Scarily, that is what is happening in healthcare facilities around the country. Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in America.

While such dramatic errors are not typical, they are common enough to cause concern. From the wrong organ taken out during surgery to the wrong medicine being administered, these errors really do occur. And they can be devastating. Although many facilities try to sweep the issue under the rug and out of the public eye, researchers are shedding light on the fact that there is a problem in our hospitals, and it is one that must be discussed.

Because the Centers for Disease Control doesn’t require medical facilities to report errors in any data collected regarding death via billing codes, it can be nearly impossible to determine just how large the problem is. There are some that want the CDC to require that physicians report if any error occurred that could have led to a preventable death.

What some, including the director of health-care quality at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Kenneth Sands, believe is surprising is the fact that any change in the number of medical errors has been insignificant, despite the attention they have received as of late. It is both discouraging and alarming, according to Sands. One of the barriers to knowledge and, in turn, safer medical care, is the diversity in which that care is provided. There are few standards that are adopted by hospitals across the board. Until safety and operational standards are widely adopted, medical errors will continue to occur at a rate that should alarm everyone.

No one expects to be injured by a doctor. Just the opposite, in fact. We expect to be healed by medical professionals. When you are the victim of medical error or negligence, you have recourse. An attorney experienced in medical professional liability law, like Carr & Weatherby, can assist you in determining if you may be entitled to compensation and at what approximate level under Georgia law.