According to a new study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, the number of patients who die because of medical errors may be higher than previously thought. The results of the study are actually a compilation of four different studies conducted between 2002 and 2008, which examined the medical records of more than 4,200 hospitalized patients. By taking those figures and applying them to the United States, it is estimated that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die every year because of hospital error.
Until now, it was a widely accepted fact that 98,000 people per year die because of mistakes made in hospitals. In fact, the American Hospital Association stated that they will continue to use that figure, as opposed to the newly reported one. One person who does trust the new statistic is one of the doctors who helped to write the report “To Err Is Human;” this is the report that included the 98,000 number. He remarked that even when the report was published in 1999, medical professionals knew it was a low estimate.
There is no way to know for sure exactly how many people die from hospital negligence because there has never been a count. There is also a reluctance on the part of some hospitals to admit when a mistake occurred and note that mistake on medical charts.
If your family member is a victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may want to contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Source: kcur.org, “How Many Die From Medical Mistakes In U.S. Hospitals?” Sep. 24, 2013