Most workers in Delaware would not tolerate a workplace with a fatality rate so high that it was ranked as the third most common cause of death. Despite this, patients are expected to accept these risks when going to the doctor. Medical malpractice is indeed so widespread and normalized in the health care field that it rarely makes headlines.
How common is medical malpractice?
According to a meta-analysis of hospital records from 2013, medical malpractice directly contributes to approximately 440,000 deaths every year. However, hospitals are not the only places where patients interact with health care professionals. Experts estimate that deaths from medical malpractice in places like nursing homes, urgent cares and other outpatient facilities are about the same as those that occur in hospitals.
What causes errors?
Medical errors happen for a wide number of reasons. In one example, surgeons working at University Hospitals in Ohio performed a kidney transplant on the wrong patient. This one mistake caused one patient to undergo an unnecessary surgery, while the patient who actually needed the kidney was pushed back onto the waiting list. Other contributing factors for medical errors include:
- Mixed up lab results
- Inadequate training
- Poor decision making
Delaware patients deserve to feel safe and valued when seeking care from a doctor or other health care professional. When a patient suffers a serious injury instead, he or she may need help to recover. Victims may find that successfully pursued medical malpractice claims are helpful in at least two different ways, as they can provide necessary compensation while also influencing real change.