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Study reveals higher prevalence of fatal doctor errors

It is only human to make mistakes. Fortunately, many people in Texas who have erred are able to learn from their mistakes and take action to prevent repeating them. However, a recent study that looked at the number of deaths resulting from doctor errors argues that those in the medical profession are not learning from instances of medical malpractice, partially due to the lack of accurate data. The doctors who conducted the study are hoping that their results will bring about change.

Their report involved analyzing four other studies related to death rate information. It concludes that over 250,000 people die each year as a result of a doctor error, a number much higher than previous estimates. The authors hope that as a result of their report, there will be changes made that will allow doctors and hospitals to better track these mistakes, specifically advocating to indicate on a person's death certificate whether he or she passed away as a result of a medical error.

The study's authors have several suggestions on how to improve patient safety, including having bar codes on all surgical instruments to better ensure that each piece of equipment can be accounted for following a procedure. In fact, one of the authors of the study claims that there is the capacity for large amounts of innovation in the area of technology related to protecting patient safety, but many hospitals are not willing to invest in it. The author believes that this indifference may be attributed to the fact that hospitals are unaware of the high number of deaths due to preventable errors.

As one advocate for increased safety measure for patients states, even one death resulting from doctor errors is one too many. While the industry as a whole struggles with how to prevent medical malpractice, victims in Texas -- including family members of the deceased --- are struggling with how to cope with life without their loved ones. The consequences of such a loss are often more than emotional; many struggle financially as a result of lost wages and funeral expenses. While studies such as these help educate about the impact of these mistakes, filing a lawsuit against negligent medical care providers can also make a hospital more aware of the potential harm of medical malpractice, potentially inspiring change and seeking to ensure that the needs of surviving family members are met. Consultation service from the Maloney Lawyers is free. Contact us today to get started.

Source: wqad.com, "Medical errors are now third leading cause of US deaths, doctors suggest", Sarah Tisinger, May 6, 2016

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