Just How Common Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is more common than you might think. Before getting into some statistics however,  we should clarify what medical malpractice is. Medical malpractice is professional negligence by a doctor or health care provider. It could be substandard treatment, a misdiagnosis, or other error that caused bodily harm or injury. It could also be that proper care wasn’t provided whatsoever, as opposed to a negligent act. It’s a very serious offense that should not be treated lightly. Getting justice for medical malpractice is imperative, as it prevents the incidents from repeating.

That stated, medical malpractice occurs more often than you might think. After all, we are human and people make mistakes, including health care professionals. According to some recent statistics by HealthGrades, close to 200,000 patients die every year from medical errors that could have been prevented. Every year, there are around 17,000 medical malpractice suits against doctors in the US. The most common violations by health care professionals are prescribing medication without an established clinical relationship and perhaps a little shockingly, sexual misconduct.

In 2009, the Department of Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) determined that a majority of doctors in the US will face a malpractice suit at some point during their professional careers. One third of patients in American hospitals encounter an error in their care. This percentage is obviously quite high, but keep in mind there is quite a bit of room for mistakes in the goings on of a modern hospital. Patients might be given the wrong dosage of medication or the wrong medication altogether. A misdiagnosis could be made. Even errors like operating on the wrong part of the body or failing to prevent staph infections are more common than one might think.



Source: Medical News Today

Posted in Medical Malpractice


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