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Medical errors the nation’s third-most-common cause of death

| Jul 29, 2019 | Failure to Diagnose

No one knows your body quite like you do, so when you feel unwell, you probably trust your instincts and visit your New York doctor so he or she can figure out what is wrong and recommend a course of treatment. Unfortunately, though, some patients find out the hard way that doctors, like everyone else, are not immune to making mistakes. At Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP, we understand that physician errors are a serious concern for many patients, but we also recognize that there are certain things you can do to help avoid having a medical mistake wreak havoc on your life.

According to CNBC, medical errors come in many forms, but they have become so common in American health care environments that they now trail only behind cancer and heart disease as the leading causes of death in the United States. The exact number of Americans losing their lives to medical errors is difficult to pinpoint, however, although estimates suggest that this number falls somewhere between about 250,000 and 440,000.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University arrived at the 250,000 figure, but in doing so, they reviewed death data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The potential problem with this data, however, is that the CDC gets it from medical examiners, coroners and others who rarely make a record of it when a death happens because of a medical mistake. Numerous other studies, meanwhile, suggest that the actual number of American deaths attributed to physician errors is much higher than 250,000.

So, how can you help avoid falling victim to a medical mistake? For starters, seek a second opinion anytime you receive a serious diagnosis, or no diagnosis at all, when you suspect something is wrong with you. It may, too, benefit you to bring along an advocate when visiting your doctor who can help you ask questions and assert yourself. You can find more about doctor errors by visiting our webpage.

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