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December 12th, 2014 :

A is for Accountability

Posted in Latest Blog by Admin

Tags: Negligence, Accountability, Medical Malpractice

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A is for Accountability

Written by: Attorney Kevin Kornegay

We are all human and we all make mistakes. But, when big mistakes are made, people can be hurt by these mistakes. As parents, with each disciplining lesson, we try to instill in our children accountability. If you do something wrong or negligent, you own up to it. This same accountability (though we are often disappointed) is what we ask of our politicians, our friends, and our spouses. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine reported that approximately 98,000 people die each year because of mistakes occurring in hospitals. In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services reported that approximately 180,000 deaths occurred because of bad hospital care for Medicare patients in one year. Recently, a study from the Journal of Patient Safety states that number could be much higher–between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year.

This means that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Let this sink in: between nearly a quarter of a million to half a million people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death. If the high side of that estimate is correct that is five college or NFL football stadiums full of people dying each year because of mistakes made by the people that are supposed to be helping those they treat.

The American Hospital Association has rejected these estimates and believes the number is closer to 98,000 deaths. What’s the right number? Who knows? Patient’s advocates believe the number is very high. Doctor and hospitals associations have an incentive to try make people believe the number is low and thus obviously argue it is low. But, is 98,000 lives a low number? No. It is hard to trust the accuracy of the doctor and hospital’s when they are not only reluctant to report mistakes, but their medical records contain errors as well.

However, whatever the numbers are, it is important to grasp the severity of the problem. The very people we trust to help us in our time of need are now one of the leading causes of death in this country. If someone you know has recently passed away during a hospital stay, you might want to consider seeking the advice of an independent physician or an attorney to review the medical records to make sure that an error or negligent care did not cause or contribute to the death of your loved one. Additionally, if you find yourself in need of other legal services from a good criminal defense attorney or trial lawyer, contact the Chad Jones Law to find out what we can do to help you at 800-645-6637 or email us to discuss your case.

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