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NY Medical Malpractice: An Unfortunate Reality

Preventable medical errors are events that can forever impact a patient’s life, and can result in death. Despite countless studies and a growing awareness of the problem, research indicates that harm from medical errors remains widespread.

The Center for Justice and Democracy has compiled the latest findings and statistics regarding medical malpractice and patient safety. Over a decade ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found that between 44,000 and 98,000 patients died in hospitals each year due to medical errors. The problem appears to have only worsened. In 2012, the IOM estimated that one-third of hospitalized patients are harmed by medical errors. Other researchers have concluded that the current methods used to track patient safety in the U.S. are inadequate.

Some of the most common medical errors are:

  • Medication errors: These occur when patients are prescribed the wrong drug or the wrong dosage of a drug, or when the pharmacist misunderstands scribbled prescriptions and provides the wrong drug.
  • Surgical errors: These include wrong-site surgery and errors that cause infection or bleeding. Infections after surgery are estimated to be the most expensive cause of harm, with more than 252,000 infections costing more than $3.3 billion.
  • Hospital acquired infections: These are often caused by poor sanitation practices. Recent crackdowns on sanitation procedures seem to be slowing the rate of infection slightly, but much more work must be done.

The National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that medical mistakes resulted in more than six million injuries and 185,000 deaths each year. Other research has estimated that preventable medical mistakes that harmed patients cost the United States more than $17 billion annually.

A 2010 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 1.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries experienced an adverse medical event in a hospital that contributed to their death. This is approximately 15,000 people per month.

If you believe you have been injured by medical error, do not delay. Contact an experienced Long Island medical malpractice attorney who can preserve your legal rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Se habla español.

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