Hospitals nationwide recently received some good news as the Department of Health and Human Services reported there was a 17 percent decline in hospital errors from 2010 to 2013, reducing patient deaths by 50,000. The federal review of hospital medical records and data focused on preventable errors, such as infections, medication mistakes, and bed sores. Most of the decline came in 2012 and 2013, primarily with fewer adverse drug events and bed sores or pressure ulcers. Researchers believe part of the decrease in the number of hospital errors is a result of Medicare and private insurers reducing or withholding payments when hospitals make preventable mistakes.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, hospitals still have a long way to go in reducing preventable errors. One in 10 hospital patients still experience such errors, and as stated by Dr. Peter Angood of the American Association of Physician Leadership stated, “A 10 percent significant error rate that creates harm, disability, and possible death is way too high in American health care.” With an aging population, more and more Americans will need care in hospitals. For example, while a bed sore or pressure ulcer may seem like a minor injury to a healthy person, they are a common and serious danger for elderly and disabled individuals who rely on the care of medical personnel to help avoid them. A “simple” pressure ulcer can worsen rapidly and require surgery or multiple surgeries before a patient can heal enough to be released from the hospital.
The personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., have years of experience helping countless individuals who have been hurt as a result of the careless actions of medical personnel. If you or someone you love have been injured as a result of a preventable medical error, please give us a call for a free consultation.