Study Finds High Rates Of Medical Errors

December 20, 2012

Johns Hopkins University researchers found that despite efforts to improve patient safety in medical facilities, thousands of errors occur each year that leave patients in worse shape than they were in when they went to see a doctor.

The Wall Street Journal reports the study found that each year, approximately 4,000 “Never-Events” or accidents that should never occur, take place under a physician’s watch. Some of these errors included leaving sponges in patients following a surgery or performing an operation on the wrong patient.

More shocking though was the fact very few of these patients file Medical Malpractice claims despite suffering serious injuries. Researchers pointed out 32.9 percent of the patients examined in the study had permanent injuries, while six percent of patients died—yet, only three percent of the patients filed injury claims. This can be attributed to the fact many of the mistakes are not discovered until a complication from the procedure arises, such as an infection.

The conclusions were drawn by examining data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, which gathers information about claims of medical malpractice and out of court settlements reached in these cases from around the country.

The Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers at Lundy Law understand the dangers medical mistakes can pose to patients and encourage anyone who has been harmed under a physician’s care to explore their legal options by discussing their situation with a qualified attorney immediately.