Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 30, 2014 – Here is a real shock: America’s own health care system is the third leading cause of death in the nation. The reality of medical errors in the United States is truly frightening.
“As estimates continue to rise predicting how often errors by health care providers result in death, it is increasingly clear that the extent of medical malpractice is severely underreported,” said Paul Greenberg, a Chicago medical malpractice attorney with the firm Briskman Briskman & Greenberg.
When the now well-known report, “To Err Is Human,” was published by the Institute of Medicine in 1999, its estimate that 98,000 people die per year because of mistakes in hospitals was disputed. The number is now widely accepted. Then, a 2013 study in the Journal of Patient Safety said that medical errors contribute to between 210,000 and 440,000 patients per year in the United States. That makes medical malpractice the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer, in the United States. The number remains an estimate, but the study has been reviewed by other researches and found to be credible.
Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of medical mistakes. According to a study published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, approximately 12 million people seeking medical care – about one in 20 patients – are misdiagnosed each year. In about half of those cases, researchers say that there is the potential for severe harm.
According to Greenberg, people can put in extra effort and attention to protect themselves.
“Patients can help prevent errors by being their own advocates, making sure that their charts are correct and doctors are aware of their full medical history,” said Greenberg. “And when medical negligence does cause patient harm, injured people have the right to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.”
Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654
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