According to statistics, medical errors are the third most common cause of death in the U.S. In fact, they account for approximately 251,000 deaths each year. It is a fact that errors made by nurses, doctors and even hospital staff cause more deaths each year than accidents, respiratory disease, and strokes. In most cases, these are mistakes that could have and should have been prevented. Only cancer and heart disease have higher death rates, according to John Hopkins University research.
While any accident is tragic, when an accident or death occurs because of the wrongful act or neglect of another person, it is even more devastating. In most cases, calling a personal injury attorney in Fairfax when this happens is the best course of action.
Causes of Medical Mistake Related Deaths
According to information in the Washington Post, the medical mistakes that result in the passing of a patient stem from several causes. One of the most prevalent is communication breakdowns in the healthcare workflow. This may occur when patients are transferred between different departments and or facilities.
Currently, hospitals are in charge of the investigations when a medical error results in a person’s death. However, most hospitals don’t have the resources in place to handle this. As a result, there are some who believe that hospitals need to use a similar approach to the Federal Aviation Administration when a plane crashes. The results of the investigation are public, and those in the aviation community can learn from the issue in hopes it won’t occur again.
However, when it comes to medical malpractice, the mistakes often remain confidential. The conclusion of investigations is often just “swept under the rug,” which leads to the same errors occurring again and again.
Types of Preventable Hospital Errors
There are several types of preventable hospital errors, with some of the most common including:
- Hospital-acquired infections
- Diagnostic errors
- Emergency room errors
- Delayed diagnosis
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Foreign objects left inside of patients
- Operations on the wrong part of the body
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
Some doctors may also make serious mistakes that can cause harm to the patient. This is why it is so important to ask questions. If necessary, seek a second opinion. It is also wise to do plenty of research on a doctor before using their services.
An analysis of data related to national malpractice cases showed approximately six percent of all doctors in Virginia are responsible for almost half of all the malpractice cases in the state. This statistic is one that is believed to be reflected in other regions across the country, as well.
If you or someone in your family was a victim of a preventable medical injury, you need to acquire legal counsel. Personal injury attorneys in Fairfax can help you determine whether or not you have a viable case. Additional help and information can be found by contacting the law office of Hilton & Somer, LLC.