Medical Errors Reaching New Highs: Evidence American Health Continues to Rank Low Compared to Fellow Western Countries
Not long ago, a federal study found that over 138,000 Medicare beneficiaries suffered some form of adverse medical event every single month. This is not a typo. This is a real number that affects real people every year in America. With all the talk of tort reform, we rarely hear about the truly shocking statistics about how many people are being injured in American hospitals every year.
The State of American Healthcare
In 2006, the U.S. ranked at the top of the free world in spending money on healthcare. Sadly, however, we came in number 39 for infant mortality. We dropped to an appalling 43rd place for adult female mortality and 42nd for adult male mortality. Sadder still, we came in number 36 for overall life expectancy. These shocking numbers were addressed by research reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010, finding that America still struggles to keep up in terms of accountability for medical errors.
There is a big difference between a preventable event and one that is a reasonably foreseeable side effect or risk associated with a procedure. According to the Journal of Patient Safety, upwards of 440,000 people are killed by preventable medical errors every year. That means healthcare malpractice is the third leading cause of death in America. The shear force of this statistic should make most people question whether tort reform is really the answer. Limiting injured people’s rights and ability to recover for their injuries seems counterproductive to reducing these numbers.
Where Are We Headed?
With medical errors on the rise, and tort reform laws affecting people in almost every jurisdiction, the question remains – what is the solution? First, the World Health Organization released a proposed agenda for reducing such errors and promoting patient safety globally. However, such reforms mean little to the injured person who must fight for justice to get his or her life back. Florida, as a premier tourist and retirement destination has become one of the busiest healthcare systems in the Nation, treating millions of retired seniors every year, from hospitals to long-term care facilities.
Therefore, with such a high degree of patient contact, it stands to reason Florida healthcare providers and facilities commit a lot of errors every year. If injured, the first consideration must be recovery; the second call should be to an experienced personal injury attorney here in Florida who can help guide you through the daunting process of getting compensated for your preventable injuries. If you have sustained such an injury, don’t hesitate to contact us today at the Romero Law Firm for immediate assistance.