A couple of months ago, we wrote a blog about how preventable medical errors should be listed as the sixth leading cause of death in America. A 1999 report, published by the Institute of Medicine, showed that an estimated 98,000 patients died each year because of medical errors.
However, a 2013 study by the Journal of Patient Safety found that the number of deaths may actually be much higher. It is estimated that each year between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die from preventable harm caused by the hospital. This new finding places preventable medical errors as the third leading cause of death in America, falling just behind heart disease (597,680) and cancer (574,743).
These numbers are shocking and frightening, which makes it extremely important to share this information with our friends and families and to bring more awareness of this issue to our community. People need to know that medical errors happen and occur more frequently than they should. Most of the time, when we go to the hospital for medical treatment or surgery, we automatically assume that nothing will go wrong—doctors and nurses know what to do and will do what they should do.
But, what happens when they don’t?
What happens when test results get lost, or nurses take too long to respond to emergencies, or doctors make decisions that do not put the patient’s safety first? Patients get hurt and families lose loved ones to something that could have easily been prevented.
Help us to stop medical errors from splitting up families and hurting our community. If you know someone who has been severely hurt by a preventable medical error, call us at (202) 393-3320.