According to the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging in a July 2014 hearing, “preventable medical errors persist as the No. 3 killer in the U.S. – third only to heart disease and cancer – claiming the lives of some 400,000 people each year.” This amounts to 1,000 people each day. Not only is this a gross loss of life, but an expensive one, costing the nation $1 trillion a year.
VOX, in a year-long series reports on the devastating statistics of medical errors in America in disturbing articles like “Medical errors in America kill more people than AIDS or drug overdoses. Here’s why” and “9 facts about medical errors you should know before entering a hospital.” VOX lays out several facts that you should know before going for surgery:
- Surgeons have accidentally left 4,857 objects in patients between 1990 and 2010.
- Surgeons have operated on the wrong body part 2,413 times between 1990 and 2010.
- Surgeons have operated on the wrong patient in 27 cases between 1990 and 2010.
- 500,000 Americans are admitted to the hospital after developing bedsores from pervious treatment.
- 58,000 Americans admitted for bedsores die during that admission.
- Only 30% of medical errors are actually disclosed to patients.
However, there is hope with reform. The 2010 Affordable Care Act penalizes hospitals if their patients come back within 30 days of their initial visit for problems associated with treatment and specifically for such things as infections acquired while hospitalized. Indeed, under the ACA hospitals will lose as much as 3% of their Medicare revenue on high readmission rates.
If you think you or a loved one are the victim of a medical error, contact Walsh Woodard LLC for a free consultation at (860) 549-8440. We are here to help.