Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer kill more people. It is estimated that more than 250,000 people die each year because of preventable medical errors. These errors are often made due to physician or medical professional negligence caused by carelessness, overworked and fatigued medical professionals, and poor safety systems. Now, a new survey conducted for the Commonwealth Fund, the New York Times, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston found that one in four seriously ill patients reported experiencing a serious medical error.
The survey examined 1,495 adults over the age of 18 that were seriously ill. To determine which adults were allowed to participate in the survey, the researchers defined “seriously ill” as someone who had a serious medical illness or condition that required multiple hospital visits and visits to more than one physician in the last three years. Family members of seriously ill patients were also allowed to participate in the survey if the patient was unable to participate for themselves.
According to their findings, 14% of seriously ill patients said that a medical error had occurred at a hospital, while 7% said that it happened at a physician’s office or clinic. They also found that in hospital settings, 22% of seriously ill patients most often reported that staff were not responsive to their needs. Other findings included:
- 21% of seriously ill patients would not recommend their hospital to another patient
- 29% of seriously ill patients reported being sent for duplicate procedures or tests by differing physicians
- 23% of seriously ill patients said they waited too long for treatments, testing, and various follow up or specialist appointments
- 1 in 4 seriously ill patients reported receiving conflicting information from a variety of health care professionals
When Malpractice Occurs
It is important to know that not all medical errors are the result of medical malpractice. In order to prove that malpractice occurred, you need to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as you are able. Your attorney will need to review your case and determine if you have cause to file a medical malpractice claim. In order to win your case, your attorney must establish the following elements of medical malpractice:
- The physician or medical professional owed you a duty of care
- That duty of care was breached
- The breach resulted in an injury to the patient
- The injury resulted in damages, such as financial losses or physical pain and suffering
Have You Been Injured by a Medical Error?
If you’ve been injured and you believe that your doctor or healthcare professional’s medical error was to blame, it is important to discuss your case immediately with an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorneys. Establishing medical malpractice is not easy. As such, you need an experienced lawyer on your side from the start. At Zimmet & Zimmet, our experienced Daytona Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyers have extensive experience representing injured patients. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Call 386-255-6400 or fill out our confidential contact form and someone will call you back!