A recent paper published in The BMJ, from researches at the Johns Hopkins University, reveals that medical errors are the third cause of death in the United States. According to one of the researchers, Dr. Martin Makary, “Collectively, the problem of medical care gone wrong kills a substantial number of people in the United States.” Dr. Makary and his colleague concluded that medical errors cause 9.5 percent of all deaths in the United States. Their conclusions are based on their review of U.S. death rate data.
Over 251,000 people die each year in the United States from medical errors.
One of the biggest problems with determining the rate of death from medical errors is coding on death certificates. The cause of death on a death certificate is based on a medical code. However, wrongful death by medical error does not have a billing code. Therefore, this cause of death is completely missed on death certificates skewing the data on the number of deaths caused by medical errors. As a result, the true risk to patients from medical errors goes undocumented. Until medical errors are recognized as a cause of death and medical error is listed on death certificates, patients may not be aware of the risk they face when they seek treatment for an illness or disease.
Medical Errors That Cause Wrongful Death
There are many different medical errors that can result in a wrongful death. Some of the most common medical errors we see include:
- Failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, and/or misdiagnosis
- Medication errors (i.e. prescribing the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, etc.)
- Surgical errors
- Failure to act on test results
- Childbirth errors, including negligent prenatal care and errors during the birthing process
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to perform required tests
- Failure to explain risks of procedures (informed consent)
- Inadequate monitoring and/or follow-up
A bad result is not always due to medical malpractice. Doctors and medical professionals are not miracle workers. Even with the best medical care, sometimes a patient does not recover from an illness or disease. However, when a medical professional does not perform according to the industry’s standard of care, he or she should be held accountable for medical malpractice.
What Should I Do?
If you believe you or your loved one has been injured due to medical malpractice, you need to act now. You may be entitled to recover compensation in a California wrongful death lawsuit. However, under California’s wrongful death statutes, you only have a short time to file a wrongful death claim. Therefore, contacting a Fresno wrongful death attorney as soon as possible is crucial to protect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Permanent disability, disfigurement, and scarring
- Funeral and burial expenses
The amount and type of damages you may be entitled to receive depends on several factors. Our Fresno wrongful death lawyer can discuss your case in detail during a free legal consultation.
Contact Our Office For A Free Case Evaluation
Contact Torem & Associates by calling 1-800-954-4444 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation with a Fresno wrongful death attorney. We want to help you hold the medical provider who caused your injury accountable for his or her actions.