A recent study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reports that death resulting from medical errors is third on the list of the top causes of death in the United States, ahead of respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and others. Only cancer and heart disease cause more deaths annually.
According to the study, published this month in the British Medical Journal, thousands of Americans die each year from communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment and inadequate skill. One of the researchers in the study says, “It boils down to people dying from the care they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care.”
Unfortunately, the real causes of many of these deaths never see the light of day, because hospitals are protected from divulging the results of internal quality assurance investigations by state laws which consider such investigations to be privileged, and not subject to discovery in legal cases. To compound the problem, the lessons learned from these investigations are not disseminated to other institutions or even other departments within the same hospital, leading to the probability that such mistakes will be repeated over and over again.
This study highlights why it is important to have an experienced attorney if you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice. At the Law Firm of Andrew R. Leder, Esq., PLLC, we have over 23 years of experience representing clients in medical malpractice cases. Call us at (516) 213-5000 to schedule a free consultation at our office in Rockville Centre, New York. Home and hospital consultations are available as well.