Negligence on a doctor’s part can prove fatal to the patient, and these incidents are not isolated cases; in fact, infections contracted in hospitals are the fourth leading cause of death among Americans, reaching even the number of deaths caused by AIDS, breast cancer, and vehicular accidents combined. While the increase has slowed down in the previous year–denoting a slightly significant change on how hospitals avoid negligence, infection, and medication errors–this remains one of the top health issues America is facing, along with increased antibiotic resistance and the shortage of physicians.
According to the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, the US still has a lot to work to do in preventing the spread of the deadly methicillin resistant staphylococcus aurea, a bacteria that is essentially preventable and spreads through dirty hands and infected medical instruments. The Committee added that the simplest way to reduce hospital infection is for doctors and other health care workers to clean their hands during and between treating patients.
Hospital infection is just the tip of the iceberg here. Hospitals are also susceptible to giving out wrong medications, which can lead to death, especially for veterans; according to recent VA statistics, more than 500 military veterans died due to medication errors at Veteran Affairs hospitals across the country between 2010 and 2014. The Veterans Health Association has found a total of more than a thousand “institutional disclosures of adverse events” (such events include untoward incidents, diagnostic or therapeutic misadventures, or other occurrences of harm or potential harm to a patient, including errors in giving out a medication), which led to 526 patient deaths. Letting time pass by after the death of a loved one due to these adverse events isn’t advisable, and it’s best to talk to an NYC medical malpractice lawyer, especially if the death could have been prevented.
While even the most common mistakes, like incorrect dosages or surgical equipment left on the body, can be committed by the best hospitals, the worst thing that could happen is an undetected disease due to a delayed diagnosis or overlooked findings. The VA further stated that in 2012 alone, 74 patients who had any form of cancer were delayed of their respective treatments after doctors overlooked the initial findings, and 12 of them succumbed completely to disease without even receiving treatment.
Some deaths could have been prevented had the doctors or the attending health care personnel taken great care and diligence. Talking to medical malpractice lawyers in NYC, such as the professionals working with the Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein, is key to ensuring that negligence will have no room in a hospital.
(Source: America’s 9 biggest health issues, CNN)