A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that medical malpractice or negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., just behind cancer and heart disease. You might have heard of that before, yet it is hardly negligible since deaths caused by medical malpractice could have been prevented. Even so, this is just one of the many things your Brooklyn medical malpractice lawyer can tell you about his field of expertise:
Billions in damages
In 2013, the total amount paid for all medical malpractice cases in the U.S. reached $3.7 billion. This amount is significantly lower than the figure recorded in 2003, when the total reached a whopping $5.7 billion. The states with the highest per capita medical malpractice payouts include New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut. 96 percent of these cases, however, were settled out of court.
Wrong diagnosis or treatment
In the allegations for medical malpractice, 33 percent were from diagnosis, 23 percent from surgery, 18 percent from treatment, 10 percent from obstetrics or those relating to childbirth and the postpartum period, and another 10 percent from medication and anesthesia. Teeth damage (21 percent), death (18 percent), nerve damage, organ damage (both at 13 percent), pain and cardiopulmonary arrest (both at 11 percent) are among the top anesthesia-related malpractice injury claims. Meanwhile, meningitis, heart attack, and cancer are the top three missed diagnosis. In the total number of malpractice claims, 45 percent of them were inpatients while 38 percent were outpatients.
Medical device failures
Medical devices, as defined by the Food and Drug Administration, are instruments, apparatuses, or machines intended for diagnosis of diseases or in the cure of such diseases. The FDA has also set the distinction between medical devices and drugs, with the latter’s intended goal achieved through metabolic and chemical actions. While medical equipment are under tight scrutiny by the FDA, there are times when these would cause harm to patients instead of relief.
Some factors that could contribute to medical equipment failure include human error and reusing old devices when such should only be intended for single use only, for sanitary purposes. In 2013, the FDA recalled several medical devices due to failures that could lead to further injury, and worse, death. Although device failures have not been included on the statistics, medical malpractice attorneys in Brooklyn like those from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein would advise you to file a claim should you or someone in your family get further complications from medical equipment.
(Source: 12 Medical Malpractice Facts, HCP Live)