Medical malpractice is still a problem in the United States

Many personal injury attorneys say that there's a perception that medical malpractice cases are overblown. That perception sometimes affects the way that a jury sees a case.

Once upon a time (way back in the 1960s), Americans put a lot of faith in their medical providers. Today, only 34 percent of patients can say the same -- and the drop in support for medical providers isn't unfounded. Medical negligence is now the third leading cause of fatalities in this country.

When you stop to think about that fact, it sounds pretty horrible. The United States is one of the most medically advanced nations in the world -- but patients keep dying due to foolish mistakes.

Here are the latest figures on the types of medical malpractice that you might experience:

  1. Misdiagnosis -- When researchers studied malpractice claims between 2013 and 2017, they found that 33 percent of lawsuits were related to misdiagnosis. This includes both incorrect diagnosis (mistaking one disease for another) and delayed diagnosis (overlooking symptoms of something serious or dismissing symptoms altogether).
  2. Childbirth injuries -- The United States is falling behind when it comes to protecting pregnant mothers and newborn children. Far too many mistakes are being made and maternal death rates are climbing in this country even as they're falling around the rest of the world.
  3. Surgical errors -- There's tremendous potential for problems anytime surgery is done. Anesthesiology errors can easily happen and there are always potential problems with "wrong site, wrong patient, wrong surgery." Aftercare can also be a problem -- and patients can suffer tremendous harm from inadequate instructions or assistance.
  4. Medication mistakes -- These can happen inside hospitals or at pharmacies. Anything from a misread prescription to a doctor's haste when writing out a dosage can lead to serious harm for a patient.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a serious problem in this country -- and the situation doesn't seem to be getting better. If you have been injured by a medical mistake or your loved one died as a result of one, don't hesitate to contact an experienced attorney to learn more.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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