The top causes of death in the United States are heart disease and cancer. Cancer used to take more lives, but heart disease has recently taken the top spot. Both of these ailments are often connected with age – in that they’re more common with older individuals – which is part of the reason that they have such a high fatality rate.
But in the number three spot, you may be surprised to find that some researchers believe medical malpractice causes more death than anything outside of these top two categories. How could mistakes made by doctors be this common and this problematic?
A wide range of errors
One thing to keep in mind is that medical malpractice refers to a very wide range of mistakes that doctors and nurses can make. People often think of things like a doctor amputating the wrong leg or operating on the wrong patient. These drastic events do happen, but they are certainly not the only way that medical malpractice occurs.
For instance, a medication error could be an example of malpractice. Say that a nurse gives a patient twice the dose of a medication and they pass away as a result. Or perhaps a patient needed a life-saving medication and wasn’t given it on time.
Another example could be if the medical staff simply doesn’t monitor a patient properly. Maybe their blood pressure and oxygen levels are falling during surgery, but no one notices because the staff is being negligent. They didn’t actively do anything to take that person’s life, but the patient may pass away simply because the problem was not identified when it should have been by medical professionals.
Have you lost a loved one due to a doctor’s error? If so, you need to know what legal options you have.