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Study Reveals 210,000 Americans Die Each Year Because of Medical Mistakes

August 19th, 2015

Every year, millions of Americans rely on the skill and experience of surgeons, doctors and medical professionals to perform operations that can save, or at least greatly improve, their lives. Unfortunately, despite the high level of training and dedication exhibited by the majority of medical professionals, accidents do happen.

At The Yost Legal Group, Baltimore Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death law firm, our attorneys are all too familiar with the risks and serious injuries that can result from even the most common and routine surgical procedure.

When patients suffer injuries or complications after undergoing surgery, the results can be catastrophic. Surgical error, wrong diagnosis, post-surgical complications and other types of medical mistakes affect thousands of Americans every year.

One 2013 study conducted by the Journal of Patient Safety estimated that as many as 210,000 Americans are killed every year from medical mistakes in hospitals that could have been prevented.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) ranked medical error as the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer.

These statistics about medical mistakes in the United States are staggering. There is now some research that could provide patients with the information necessary to avoid risky surgical procedures or under-qualified doctors.

A new study from USA Today and the independent journal outlet ProPublica attempts to provide patients with data on how they can lower their odds of suffering complications, revision surgeries or other medical errors during common surgical procedures.

The study, known as the Surgeon Scorecard, examines complication rates associated with eight types of common elective medical procedures. This data is applied to over 16,000 surgeons from across the country, and determines what is known as an “Adjusted Complication Rate.”

This statistic allows patients to independently research the likelihood of suffering post-surgical complications when seeing a specific surgeon, or undergoing a specific procedure. ProPublica and USA Today state that they hope the end result of this effort will be to give patients more control over when, where and with whom their surgeries take place.

By giving patients access to more information, these journals hope that doctors and hospitals will be held to a higher standard of accountability, and rates of medical malpractice and surgical error will drop throughout the country.

Here are a few statistics that reveal how this study was conducted:

  • USA Today and ProPublica took their patient sample from Medicare billing records for in-patient hospital stays between 2009 and 2013.
  • The study examined eight common, elective surgical procedures including knee replacement, hip replacement, gallbladder removal, lumbar spinal fusion, prostate removal, and more.
  • During the course of this study, it was found that between 2009 and 2013, 63,173 Medicare patients were readmitted to hospitals with post-surgical complications.
  • These 63,173 re-hospitalizations cost U.S taxpayers an estimated $645 million.
  • Between 2009 and 2013, 3,405 Medicare patients died during a hospital stay for an elective surgery.

At The Yost Legal Group, we take patient safety and recovery extremely seriously. Our attorneys have years of experience fighting to defend the rights of innocent people who were harmed by all types of Medical Malpractice, including Wrong Diagnosis, Surgical Error, Defective Medications, Defective Medical Devices and more.

Common post-surgical complications can include:

  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Severe Pain
  • Less healing than anticipated
  • Revision surgery

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical mistake contact The Yost Legal Group. We will speak with you and answer any questions you may have.

Call The Yost Legal Group right away at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) to receive a confidential and no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice lawyers.  There is no fee or cost to you unless you receive a settlement or jury award.

If you have been injured through no fault of your own after undergoing a medical procedure, do not delay. Strict time limitations govern when claims must be filed.  Call The Yost Legal Group today. Our lawyers will fight to defend your rights as a victim and provide the answers you seek.

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights