Medical mistakes are now the third leading cause of deaths within the U.S., according to RT. While previous estimates have indicated medical errors were a top reason for fatalities within the United States, new research affirms that there are only two causes of death which occur more commonly than negligence on the part of medical care providers.
When medical mistakes turn out to be fatal, family members could be left with financial loss and with unspeakable grief. The family of victims killed by Atlanta medical malpractice can get help with a wrongful death claim from an experienced attorney in the Atlanta area.
If medical errors occur but turn out not to be fatal, victims can still be compensated for damages, provided they can show the doctor's actions caused them to experience some type of compensable harm. It is best to get help as soon as possible if you wish to pursue a claim based on a medical mistake, as an attorney can help you begin gathering the evidence you will need to prove your case.
Atlanta Medical Negligence a Leading Cause of Death
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University recently took a close look at the death rate due to medical mistakes. The researchers undertook the project because of a belief that the data available on deaths due to medical negligence was not accurate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government sources report statistics on fatalities caused by doctor error, but researchers believe the official figures are too low and not reflective of the true number of fatalities.
CDC official data had estimated around 150,000 annual fatalities because of medical mistakes. However, the CDC didn't properly account for all the deaths because they did not consider all data on death certificates. The previous statistics were focused on coding systems and medical bills, which are meant to make patient billing easier and not to provide an accurate measure of people killed due to medical mistakes. The Johns Hopkins professor who was the lead researcher in the study stated: "Incidence rates for deaths directly attributable to medical care gone awry haven't been recognized in any standardized method for collecting national statistics.
To get a more accurate picture, Johns Hopkins Researchers got data from multiple sources, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Statistics; Health and Human Services; and the Inspector General. Based on the wider pool of data, they determined around 251,454 fatalities occur annually because of medical mistakes.
The only two causes of death which beat out medical errors are cancer and heart disease, Heart disease caused 611,105 deaths and cancer caused 546,881 deaths. Medical errors, unlike these causes of death, could be avoided if doctors exercised reasonable care when dealing with every patient.
Getting Help from an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When a doctor's negligence causes an injury or death, victims must understand their rights and pursue a claim for compensation. An attorney can help obtain medical records, find expert witnesses, and put together a strong case.
The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC can represent patients or their families after a medical mistake. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.