Medical Errors are 3rd Leading Cause of Death

Every year an astonishing 440,000 patients die because of preventable medical errors. In fact, medical errors are so prevalent that they have become the third leading cause of death in the United States. Yet the government does very little to prevent these deadly errors, largely because corporate front groups work diligently on Capitol Hill to limit accountability for medical professionals.

Luckily, the civil justice system exists to help families of patients who have died seek justice and hold those negligent doctors, nurses, and health care professionals accountable for their mistakes. Litigation and the threat of litigation also serves another valuable purpose—to provide health care providers with the incentives they need to improve patient care- before more people are killed.

The medical malpractice tort system influences hospitals, nurses, and physicians to improve the standards by which they practice, thus improving patient care. Safety checks and protocols are essential to protecting patients in hospitals and clinics, and these policies often come about as a result of malpractice claims.

On March 22, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely, Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2011″. This bill seeks to impose a cap on damages for medical negligence, defective drugs, medical devices, and nursing home abuse. It deliberately protects the health care providers from accountability and prevents injured patients and their families from receiving the help they need to put their lives back together.

Medical Errors - Just the Facts

How bad are medical errors in this country? So bad that one in three patients who are admitted to a hospital will experience some form of medical error. This can include receiving the wrong drug, the wrong amount of drug, the wrong surgery, or even the wrong identification bracelet.

“Never Events”, errors that should never happen in hospitals and medical institutions, actually occur at an alarming rate of up to 40x a week across the country. These medical errors and others like them cost our country tens of billions of dollars each and every year.

Many Americans erroneously believe that the vast majority medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous, yet medical negligence cases represent just 2% of all civil cases and 97% are appropriate.