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Medical Malpractice Deaths Exceed Murder & Highway Fatalities Combined

Jack Venturi Medical Malpractice Comments Off on Medical Malpractice Deaths Exceed Murder & Highway Fatalities Combined

Medical MalpracticeMost people have heard the old expression “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”. When you review the numbers and statistics concerning medical malpractice in this country, you may understand why there are so many Lawyer sponsored commercials at all times of the day and night concerning Medical Malpractice cases. There have been many new studies on this subject and the findings are enough to have you tripping over your own feet getting to the proverbial apple tree.

We are going to compare three major causes of death in the United States which are Fatal Medical Malpractice mistakes, Motor Vehicle Highway Fatalities and Murder (Homicides). Keep in mind that the Malpractice statistics are compiled from pure medical mistakes and negligence. These numbers will not reflect deaths from natural causes or normal complications to surgery in hospitals.

New Study Confirms 440,000 Deaths from Medical Negligence Annually.

These startling numbers of 440,000 deaths from Medical MalpracticeMedical Malpractice were recently published by the Journal of Patient Safety. It has been found that the government simply under estimated the numbers for many years and the projected numbers were much lower that what the actual statistics done by professional statisticians were creating by doing research with their professional measures. There have been other reviews indicating that there were about 210,000 Malpractice reported deaths. But again you have to realize these studies generated estimates with no solid data until now.

Statisticians state that many Medical Malpractice cases are never reported in an attempt to eliminate possible law suits.

Medical MalpracticeWhen I was very young I heard an expression that when most people make a mistake it is noticeable, but when Doctors or Hospitals make an error they can bury their mistakes. I read a sad story a few years ago about a man from Chicago whose mother and his mother-in-law went into the hospital at different times for nothing life threatening what so ever with no surgery required and both women died from picking up a serious virus due to improperly sanitized rooms. It was later found that the rooms were not cleaned properly and by not using the correct germ killing detergents.

Medical Malpractice is now the 3rd leading cause of death in America just falling short of Cancer and Heart Disease.

When you stop and think about the statement of Malpractice being theMedical Malpractice third leading cause of death in America, it really makes the average people stop and think about what this is all about and what needs to be done to reduce these numbers. Many Doctors blame the Malpractice liabilities on Nurses dropping the ball and at the same time the Nurses are pointing their fingers at the Doctors who should take the fall. The hospitals who can be the most common culprits go down the line putting the blame on the lower ranking staff employees. When the smoke clears you have a group of people trying to pass the buck on the next guy to save themselves from being targeted by the Malpractice Lawyers who are investigating the case. Medical malpractice deaths exceed murder & highway fatalities combined which is an incredible statistic.

Let us compare medical Malpractice to the other major causes of death in this country which would be Felony Murder and Motor Vehicle Traffic accidents.

Medical MalpracticeThe United States Department of Transportation did an accurate survey and reported that there were 32,719 deaths in vehicle crashes in the United States in 2013. This breaks down to 89.6 people dying each day from accidents in motor vehicles. We can safely say that is a very high number to say the least. Motor vehicles are much safer than they used to be but now we have many motorists conversing on cell phones and sending each other text messages.

A very accurate report was generated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and reported their findings of 14,319 murders were committed in the United States in the year 2013. That breaks down to 39.2 Murders per day. This also is a depressing number to see that almost 40 people lose their life each day to a person who intentionally takes another fellow Americans life.

If we use the most current number of malpractice deaths of 440,000 we will find a mathematical breakdown of 1,205.48 deaths in this country each day from the medical professions errors in one way shape or form.

The final breakdown reveals there are over nine times the Medical Malpractice deaths in this country than the total Motor Vehicles fatalities and total Murders in this country combined. This puts Medical malpractice as the third cause of death in the United States. If we illustrate the number of the top 5 causes of deaths in the country, this is how it breaks down on a per year basis.

1. Heart Disease Deaths – 611,105
2. Cancer Caused Deaths – 589,430
3. Medical Malpractice Deaths – 440,000
4. Motor Vehicle Deaths – 32,719
5. Homicide related Deaths – 14,319

Here are some interesting examples of Medical Malpractice
Some of the people died and some of the others survived with only mental scars of their trauma. Most of the names of the patients have been removed from these malpractice examples for their own privacy.

1. Patient receives a heart bypass but performed on the  wrong artery.
In 2001, news was reported concerning the case of medical malpractice that happened to a Saturday Night Live celebrity comedian. Approximately two months after the double bypass surgery to preserve his life, the man was given the news that the surgeon had bypassed a wrong artery. A $7.5 million lawsuit against the surgeon and the hospital was later filed.

2. Open heart surgery performed on the wrong patient.
An 67 year old female patient was admitted to a teaching hospital toMedical Malpractice have a Cerebral Angiography performed. After the procedure was completed, she was returned to a hospital room on an entirely different floor than her original one. Instead of being discharged as planned, she was wheeled to have an open heart procedure performed. She was on the operating table for over an hour when a doctor from a different department called and asked what they were doing with his patient.

Once the mistake was realized, the procedure was canceled, and the patient was returned to her room in stable condition; however, the consequences of the extra surgery performed included increased risks of heart attack, stroke, internal bleeding and infections.

3. Surgeon operates on the wrong side of a patients head.
In 2007 Surgeons at a Rhode Island Hospital performed surgery on the wrong side of a patient’s skull, this was an incident than happened for the third time in one year. An 82 year old patient required the operation to stem the flow of bleeding from her brain to her skull. The surgeon immediately started the procedure off incorrectly by drilling a hole on the wrong side of the patient’s skull. Luckily the mistake was caught soon enough to save the woman but an 86 year old man in the same hospital had the same surgery blunder and died.

4. Incompatible blood type kills teenage girl.

Medical MalpracticeA seventeen year old girl, who was originally from Mexico, who had been in the United States for three years, seeking medical treatment for a life threatening heart problem. A heart and lung transplant was scheduled to be performed at Duke University Medical center in North Carolina. The surgeons who performed the procedure failed to check the compatibility of the donor’s blood type with the patient which sent her into a coma. Brain damage and other complications caused her death two weeks later. The hospital stated that human error was to blame for her death.

5. Woman seeking an abortion delivers baby instead.
Another case, involving a teenage girl occurred in Florida. The patient sought to have an abortion, which was to be performed at a Diagnostic Center. Rather than having the prescribed abortion, an unlicensed doctor was permitted to give her a medication that caused her to deliver a baby girl, who was extremely pre-term. Although the child died shortly afterwards it took detectives quite a while to find her remains. The man who performed the medical procedure was charged with tampering and hiding the evidence, practicing medicine without a license, and several more charges.

6. Clinic confuses DNA with the wrong father.
A fertility clinic in New York impregnated a female patient, not with theMedical Malpractice sperm of her husband, but with the sperm of a complete stranger. Rather than giving birth to a child that resembled both of her parents, the baby had significantly darker skin. DNA tests revealed that the infants biological parent was of African descent. Although the couple have kept the baby and are raising her, the couple has filed a medical malpractice suit against the fertility clinic and against the embryologist who switched the samples around.

7. Woman dies after waiting over 24 hours in Emergency Room.
An elderly female patient visited the emergency room of Kings County Hospital, in Brooklyn, New York. She had waited almost twenty four hours to be treated by a physician. Eventually, she collapsed on the floor of the emergency room. Others patients in the emergency room reported that employees of the hospital watched the patient crawling around and about on the floor, but they did absolutely nothing to intervene and alleviate the patient’s distress. The woman eventually died on the floor of the emergency room.

8.  Major surgery performed on wide awake patient.
Medical MalpracticeA 73 year old was to have surgery was originally supposed to explore the cause of the man’s constant abdominal pain. During the surgery, the patient experienced a condition known as Anesthetic Awareness which enabled him to feel all of the pain and discomfort of the surgery. The anesthesiologists did not give the patient the general anesthetic until 16 minutes after the surgery began. The trauma of the experience led the man to commit suicide two weeks after the surgery.

9. Surgeons forget to remove their tools from a mans body.
A patient was to have surgery was intended to have removed a tumor located in his abdomen. The tumor was removed and the surgeon left a 13 inch long metal retractor inside his body. Doctors at the hospital admitted to accidentally leaving the retractor inside of the elderly patient. Four other documented incidences had happened at the hospital between the years of 1997 and 2000. The retractor was removed shortly after its discovery, and he did not suffer any long term health effects from the mistake. The patient reached settlement was for the amount of $97,000.

10. Amputation performed on the wrong leg.
A patient in 1995 was admitted to a hospital in Tampa, Florida to haveMedical Malpractice his leg amputated. During the procedure, the wrong leg was amputated by the surgeon. By the time the surgeon realized his terrible mistake, it was too late to reverse the damage caused, and the leg had to be removed. The surgeon was fined $10,000, and his license was revoked for six months. The hospital paid $900,000, and the surgeon had to pay him another $250,000. The hospital admitted that the error was the wrong leg was prepared for the surgery.

Medical Malpractice deaths are nearly 10X higher than highway related fatalities and murders combined.

When you read these statistics concerning Medical Malpractice, you have to stop and considered how high these numbers could really be if there were no law firms that the medical professionals knew were acting as the watch dogs of the medical profession. When you also consider all the reports we all have heard of the high cost of Medical Malpractice insurance, we can now have a better understanding why the rates are so high. Many people today purchase low cost term life insurance before they go in for surgery. Don’t forget your apple everyday, it may save your life.

About the author

Jack Venturi

Jack Venturi has been a licensed insurance broker for more than 25 years specializing in all forms of life insurance products in all 50 states. Learn more about him at bestchoicelifeinsurance.com

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