Scientist Determines Medical Malpractice Kills as Many as 440,000 Annually

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A study published in the Journal of Patient Safety takes healthcare error to a whole new level. Previous research indicates that the number of deaths caused by mistakes is closer to 98,000, and this statistic has become widely accepted since it was first released in 1999. However, present calculations indicate that preventable errors kill at least 210,000 people in the United States every year, though it could be as many as 440,000. Putting the Problem in Perspective Using data from the United States Census Bureau, the overall death toll is like burying everyone in Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, Greenville, Rock Hill, and Spartanberg every year. It's about the same as losing the entire population of Hilton Head Island every month, or everyone in Mayesville on a daily basis. It's also worth noting that the study indicates that incidents of serious harm occur 10 to 20 times more often than fatal errors do. In that case, it's about the same as every adult in South Carolina being seriously hurt, twice a year. Choosing a Safe Hospital Sadly, these errors happen everywhere, though there is a wide variance in frequency from one facility to the next. HospitalSafetyScore.org allows people to look at the rate of Charleston medical malpractice incidents happening at our local hospitals, and it assigns each one a letter grade. Their calculations take into account people who presented with one issue, and then developed another problem, such as a collapsed lung, accidental cut, bed sores, an infection, or even a fatal injury, as a result of the hospital's error.

  • "A" Hospital-Trident Medical Center
  • "B" Hospitals- Medical University of South Carolina University Medical Center and Roper Hospital
  • "C" Hospital- Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital
Reasons for Disparity Hospital Safety Score, as well as many other experts, believe the answer to the problem lies in creating better, more comprehensive policies. For instance, it's common knowledge that proper hand washing is an absolute must for all staff prior to a surgery, but without a policy indicating when it should happen, and how it should happen, plus a verification system to ensure it does happen, it can be overlooked. The same thing is true during surgery in regard to accounting for each item used. It must be understood in advance who is responsible for counting the tools before a surgery site is closed, to ensure nothing is left behind inside the patient. Some hospitals do not have protocols to ensure safety, and others do not enforce them. Generally speaking, hospitals which score well have firm policies in place, and staff members who do not follow them face repercussions.

Charleston Medical Malpractice Attorney

Even a great hospital or provider can make a mistake, though the likelihood of suffering at the hands of a healthcare professional varies greatly from one establishment to the next. If you have been harmed by a hospital or healthcare facility, you may be entitled to reparations, which can provide additional care needed, cover your time off work, and compensate for your pain and suffering. Your case may also be a catalyst to bring about much-needed change, so others don't suffer as you have. Please contact us for a free consultation, using our online form, or speak with an attorney now by calling1(800)610-2546.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, business tort, or workplace injury. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.