Earlier this year, the BMJ published a frightening and ground-breaking report – medical error, or medical mistakes made during the course of treatment, cause more deaths than traffic accidents, construction accidents, diabetes, and even obesity. In fact, the only cancer and heart disease kill more people each year. Of course, we knew that death caused by medical error was an issue; back in 1998, the Institute of Medicine revealed that as many as 98,000 people died from medical mistakes.
Unfortunately, it would seem that the first report did little to remedy the problem. Now found to be responsible for as many as 251,000 deaths per year – about 700 deaths per day, and around 9.5 percent of all deaths annually in the United States – it would seem that the death toll has been steadily rising by about 15,000 extra deaths each and every year. That should be enough to scare anyone.
Hospitals Talk About Change
As if the deaths themselves were not concerning enough, patients and their loved ones are often left in the dark after a mistake happens. This is because, historically, hospitals have taken a no-fault approach. They have denied wrongdoing and instructed their doctors to do the same, they have stayed silent in the discussions about how to reduce the prevalence of medical errors, and they have done it all for the sake of avoiding potential lawsuits.
Unfortunately, this lack of accountability did more than just hide the truth. It also kept them from having to own up to their mistakes. They did not have to take an honest look at the procedures or policies that killed their patients because – in their eyes – doing so would have meant admitting there was, in fact, a problem. Many now say they are moving in a different direction – a more honest and open one where they would explain what went wrong during a procedure, and why. Is this a real and honest effort, or simply a ploy to redirect the attention of concerned Americans?
Contact Our Experienced Chicago, Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Only time will tell for certain if change really is on the horizon, but our attorneys will continue to advocate for victims and their families, regardless of the outcome. We know that sometimes, even the best intentions fall short, and that not everyone works with the best of intentions. Because of this – and the devastating effect that a medical mistake can have on the lives of innocent people – victims need an experienced advocate today, and in the future.
At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we are committed to justice and honesty. We fight for the rights and futures of those wronged by medical error. Dedicated allies and aggressive litigators, our Chicago, Illinois medical malpractice lawyers pursue the most favorable outcome possible in every situation. Ask how we can assist with your case. Call [[phone]] and schedule a consultation with us today.