Whether it’s an issue of negligence or human error, physicians and other medical providers are known to make mistakes. In fact, many patients admitted to New York hospitals sustain injuries or develop other medical conditions as a result of the level of care they receive. And while it is difficult to identify an exact figure for the number of medical malpractice incidents that occur every year, new evidence suggests that avoidable errors contribute to more patient deaths than previously estimated.
Determining the level of patient safety in American hospitals is challenging because many incidents go unreported by providers and medical facilities. Also, patient medical records do not always reflect injuries and/or illnesses caused by mistakes. That’s why studies investigating the prevalence of issues like anesthesia errors, infections and other preventable conditions are taken so seriously by the medical community.
A new study is raising concerns over just how common medical mistakes are, since it estimates that almost 500,000 patients may die every year because of harm they sustain in the hospital. The study was conducted by a leading toxicologist who is also an important figure in promoting patient advocacy. According to his research, the man behind the most recent figures estimates that anywhere between around 200,000 and 450,000 patients are compromised by the care they receive in the hospital. If such findings are correct, medical errors would account for more than 15 percent of deaths in the U. S. every year.
The study findings were developed, in part, by using a particular screening method to review patient medical records. Some members of the medical community laud the method and results of the new research, while others claim the findings are overblown. No matter how the numbers are interpreted, it’s apparent that preventable medical mistakes are rampant in American hospitals.
Source: kcur.org, “How Many Die From Medical Mistakes In U. S. Hospitals?” Sep. 24, 2013