Hospitals are centers we turn to in times of trauma and for healing treatment. Medical errors are always possible, but most patients, physicians, and researchers did not know how common mistakes were until a new report was released last week. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study of fatal hospital errors and discovered that these mistakes serve as the #3 leading cause of death in the United States. The only causes of death that are attributed to more fatalities are cancer and heart disease.
The study took a comprehensive approach to hospital errors, including nearly any possible act of negligence such as overmedication and prescription errors, hospital-acquired infections, surgical mistakes like wrong-site surgery, and healthcare staff failing to read or improperly reading a patient's medical chart.
The study found a number of staggering statistics:
- Approximately 251,000 patients die every year due to some form of hospital error
- The number of annual fatalities is about 9.5 percent of the country's population
What can you do if you believe someone you love died due to some form of negligence in healthcare? Learn about how to determine if you have a medical malpractice claim in North Carolina.