Recently, while performing legal research for an ongoing case, I came across a study performed by the Institute of Medicine in 2000, entitled “To Err is Human”. The study reports that medical error, which the study labels “preventable adverse events”, is a leading cause of death in the United States today. The study specifically examined the year of 1997, where it estimates that of the 33.6 million hospital admissions that occurred in that year, at least 44,000 people died as the result of preventable medical error, and perhaps as many as 98,000. Even with accepting the lesser figure of 44,000, this number places preventable medical error as the 8th leading cause of death in the United States, higher than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS.
According to a 2004 study performed by HealthGrades, an average of 195,000 people died due to preventable medical error in each of the three years prior to 2004. This study looked at three years of Medicare data from all 50 states, which represented 45 percent of all hospital admissions in that timeframe. The study also estimates that these preventable in-hospital deaths cost taxpayers approximately $19 billion dollars.
These are astounding numbers that must be addressed. We need to focus on not only lowering health care costs but improving health care deliver, reducing medical error and reducing the number of innocent victims of severe injury and death from medical malpractice and medical error.
The attorneys of Nix Law Group are highly skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorneys. We focus our practice on representing the survivors of medical error and the families of those who have lost loved ones as a result of a medical mishap or medical malpractice. If you or anyone you know has been injured as the result of preventable medical error, please contact us for a free consultation.
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Edmond, OK 73013