Medical Mistakes are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2016 | Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog, Wrongful Death

Researchers have determined that medical errors, which fall under the medical malpractice umbrella, have become the third leading cause of death in the United States. These errors cause the death of over 250,000 patients each year, a number that exceeds that of seemingly common causes such as accidents and strokes. It’s enough to make one wonder what is going on that so many people are needlessly dying due to avoidable mistakes. The problem becomes one of the defining the cause of the mistake. It may be that the person who wrote the order did something wrong, it was human error, or a bad decision led to a bad outcome. Sometimes it takes the work of a New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer to get to the bottom of the issue and determine what went wrong where.

Results of the Study

The study found that the deaths were the result of bad doctors, communication errors, lack of judgment or poor judgment calls, a wrong diagnosis, and system failures that result in an adverse outcome instead of a positive one. Physicians sought to deflect the blame on the fact that many patients engage in “bad habits” that lead them to need life-saving intervention, but this is a poor argument from the start. The results of the “bad habits” sometimes have a genetic component or are caused by substances that are deemed legal by local and federal governments. As such, physicians need to be careful when assigning blame for the chronic conditions that come through their doorway and look to themselves as a contributor to early death.

It’s true that no one is perfect, and that not everyone makes the right call all of the time. That’s why medical facilities and their staff need to employ safety systems to prevent medical errors from turning into medical malpractice lawsuits. There is no denying that practicing medicine is a high-stress career. But physicians and medical staff need to recognize this instead of thinking they have everything under control at all times. This is a dangerous line of thinking, and it’s one that leads to patients and their families discussing legal action with an attorney. No patient ever wants to become part of a statistic. Unfortunately, medical professionals lose sight of their responsibility to treat the patient and sometimes with disastrous outcomes.



FindLaw Network