Medical malpractice can take many forms, but the most common is when a doctor negligently makes an avoidable error and does not give a patient the level of care that they deserve or should have expected. This can lead to injuries and even fatalities.
You know that this risk exists; we’ve all heard of doctors operating on the wrong site or on the wrong patient, or of people passing away after being given medications that they were allergic to. But most people think that this is a minor issue, and it rarely crosses their minds when they go to the hospital. Just how dangerous is it?
Malpractice is the third-leading cause of death
If you thought it was a minor issue, you may be shocked to learn that some studies claim that it’s really the third-leading cause of death in the United States. It’s so incredibly common, these studies report, that anywhere from 250,000 to 440,000 people lose their lives every single year as a result.
If this is true, it means that the only things more deadly than a medical mistake are cancer and heart disease. That’s a sobering thought when you’re going to see your doctor.
And those statistics noted above are just for fatalities. How many other people suffer serious brain injuries, the loss of limbs, significant infections and a whole host of other issues? The true toll of medical malpractice could be fairly catastrophic, despite getting little coverage.
Have you been injured by a medical mistake?
If you have lost a loved one or been injured yourself, be sure you know what legal steps you can take. These events should never happen, but they continue to happen year after year.