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Chicago Illinois medical malpractice lawyersEarlier 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

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stair injury, Chicago personal injury lawyerHome to approximately 2.7 million people, Chicago is a city full of life, culture, and picturesque skylines. But there is a personal injury threat hiding inside the city’s skyscrapers, complexes, and tall buildings. It is one that many Chicagoans encounter on a daily basis, but rarely ever discuss or think about: stairs.

Whether it is a part of your daily routine or something that looms in the hidden halls, waiting for the day an elevator stops working, stairs are found in a large majority of Chicago’s buildings. Governed by building codes and city codes, one would think that stairs are relatively safe; they have been around for centuries, after all. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.

Alarming Stair Statistics

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medical error rate, malpractice attorney in ChicagoMedical malpractice affects thousands of Americans every year due to hospital negligence or patients suffering from some type of preventable harm due to medical error. NPR referenced a Journal of Patient Safety study that concluded between 210,000 and 440,000 patient deaths occurred as a result of  preventable harm in hospitals, making it the third leading cause of death in America.

This number is more than double the 98,000 patients previously reported by the Institute of Medicine. When it comes to hospital safety, patients may be in harm’s way more often than they realize. The American Association for Justice points out more startling statistics that further emphasize a problem the nation continues to face. Its report concludes:

  • An estimated 40 wrong-site surgeries occur on a weekly basis;
  • Up to 1,500 medical sponges or surgical instruments are left inside patients every year; and
  • The same five percent of doctors are responsible for over half of all medical negligence cases.

These statistics prove that the problem is not being properly addressed. The consistent rate of medical error is cause for concern. Patients victim to medical negligence compromise not only their immediate health, but their future quality of life and financial stability. When patients must have corrective procedures or surgeries as a result of medical error, these costs cause undue hardship and health care providers need to be held accountable.

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