Information published in medical journal The BMJ revealed the prevalence of avoidable, harmful mistakes that occur during patient treatment — approximately 50% of incidents were determined to be preventable.
NBC News reported that the study compiled information from 70 other investigations, which consisted of data on 337,025 patients. Key findings from the report show that more than 10% of patients experienced some sort of injury or illness while being treated for a medical condition, and half of those injuries and illnesses could have been prevented. Specifically, 28,150 of the studied patients were harmed, and 15,149 of the cases were deemed preventable. Twelve percent of the issues that were identified as avoidable were labeled as “severe,” and resulted in the permanent disability or death of the affected patient. Incidents that were considered as “moderate” harm totaled 36%, while the majority of studied cases — almost half, 49% — resulted in “mild” harm to the patients in question.
The causes of patient harm could be attributed overwhelmingly to medication and therapy errors, which were cited in 49% of the incidents. At 23%, surgical injuries were the second-highest cause of patient harm. Infections and diagnosis issues followed third, at a frequency of 16%.
One instance of carelessness on the part of medical staff can result in a lifetime of health issues, unnecessary treatment, emotional anguish, and costly bills for victims and their families.
Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC offers free initial consultations to those who have been affected by medical malpractice. Contact us to learn your rights and how we can represent you following injuries caused by negligent providers.
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