People go to a doctor‘s office or hospital for a specific purpose — to feel better. Most doctors, especially in the United States and other higher income countries, are experts at what they do. Unfortunately, completely preventable cases of medical malpractice still happen. Those in North Carolina suffering from the long term effects of a doctor’s error, of their surviving family members, have options to help alleviate any burdens created by the mistake.
A recent study claims that over 43 million cases of medical malpractice occur globally each year. There were several categories the researchers looked at when arriving at their statistics: prescription drugs, bedsores, pneumonia related to a hospital stay, blood clots, catheter related infections, and falls. The errors occurring most frequently in higher income countries, such as the United States, were related to medicine. This type of injury occurs in approximately 5 percent of hospital admissions.
Some experts argue that the United States can specifically learn from the finding regarding injuries related to medicine use. They argue that, in many cases, such injury is completely preventable. Additionally, they advise that engaged patients may have a lower chance of suffering from such harm.
The study also noted that 7.2 million years of life was lost due to medical malpractice resulting in death or disability in countries with a higher average income. The researchers point out that all patients have a reasonable expectation that the care provided by doctors should not result in further harm. However, when such incidences occur, patients or their family members in North Carolina and across the country can seek legal recourse in a civil court. If they can prove their case, they could receive damages for medical care, pain and suffering, lost wages, among others. While such an outcome cannot restore their health, it can alleviate any stresses brought on by financial concerns.
Source: philly.com, Medical Harm Occurs in Nearly 43 Million Hospital Cases Each Year, Robert Preidt, Sept. 19, 2013