By Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum – ddrlawyers.com April 3, 2019
Medical advances have reduced the rate of death by heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses, allowing Americans to live much longer than previous generations. But a recent report from Johns Hopkins safety experts raises concerns about the quality of medical care people are receiving.
As reported on the Johns Hopkins website, a review of medical death rate data shows that medical errors have caused more than 250,000 deaths each year. This represents about 1 in 10 deaths—a staggering rate. Medical errors have now leapfrogged respiratory illnesses as the third leading cause of death in the country.
What is to Blame?
The Hopkins researchers were quick to note that medical mistakes aren’t all due to incompetent doctors. Instead, many errors can crop us because of:
- Poor coordination of care
- Underuse of safety nets or absence of them altogether
- Variation in physical practice
- Fragmented insurance networks
Patients, however, can hardly feel confident that they are receiving top care when so many errors are occurring. And remember, this study simply noted the number of deaths due to medical errors. Hundreds of thousands of other people suffer serious injuries because of medical errors even if they do not die.
Have You Been Injured by a Medical Mistake?
Few doctors will come straight out and admit they have made a mistake. Instead, our clients report that they suspected something was wrong and was needed to investigate further.
Here are some things to be on the lookout for:
- Your doctor is avoiding you. This might indicate a guilty conscience.
- Your condition continues to worsen, and your doctor has no idea why.
- You are quickly diagnosed with a major illness or disease soon after meeting with a doctor who did not diagnose anything wrong with you.
- A loved one who is relatively young and healthy dies in the hospital.
There may be innocent explanations for each of these situations. After all, some people are very ill and will die, even if they receive perfect medical care. But you should meet with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your case. A second medical opinion might be necessary.