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Medical mistakes a major cause of fatalities

When a Texas patient goes to a hospital out of necessity to receive treatment for an illness, injury or condition, the last thing they are expecting is that they will be made worse than they were when they went in. In some cases, they might not even leave the hospital at all. This is the case if a new study is to be believed. Research has shown that while cancer and heart disease are the top two causes of death in Americans, the third leading cause of fatalities in the U.S. are medical mistakes.

According to a new paper that was recently published, more than 250,000 people die on an annual basis because of medical mistakes. One medical professional who has examined four of the studies looking into the number of people who die due to these errors and concludes that around 9.5 percent are victims of this problem. There are a wide number of mistakes that can be made from a misdiagnosis to giving the wrong medication to medical professional negligence. Communication errors between staff members can also be a cause of people being harmed so severely that they die.

When a person dies, the death certificate will detail the cause of death based on codes. There is not a code for medical errors. Because of this, when there might have been a medical malpractice incident causing the person’s demise, it will be classified in a different way. In addition, the statistics are not keeping track of these errors. With that in mind, there is no way to know when this is happening, why it is happening, and how it can be prevented in the future.

Since so many people due due to these mistakes, it is quite possible that a death that was viewed as untimely given the circumstances of the medical problem that precipitated the hospital stay happened because of an error. If there is a belief that a loved one died because of a fatal medical error, it is important to contact a legal professional experienced in medical malpractice to conduct an investigation and consider a legal filing.

Source: Time, “Medical Errors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death: Study,” Mandy Oaklander, May 3, 2016