Author: The Talaska Law Firm
Since 2003 an independent health care ratings organization called HealthGrades has delivered reports evaluating and updating the extent of medical malpractice in the United States. The HealthGrades 2010 study bases its evaluation on established preventable safety events and uses Medicare patients as the patient study group. Study results showed that from 2007 through 2009, 13 patient safety indicators cost the U.S. health care system close to $7.3 billion, and approximately 54% of the $7.3 billion came from the most common medical indicators (preventable errors), which were pressure ulcers and post-operative respiratory failure.
Other examples of safety indicators were:
* 52,127 bloodstream infections
* 8,114 deaths among patients with bloodstream infections
One of the most shocking findings is that one in ten surgical patients died after developing serious, however treatable complications, including:
* Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung)
* Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein, as in the legs).
* Sepsis (blood infection)
* Shock or cardiac arrest
* Gastrointestinal bleeding
Based on safety indicators, HealthGuard also rates hospitals and issues awards to hospitals with low numbers of safety indicators. If all hospitals operated at the level of the highly rated hospitals, HealthGrades estimates that hospitals overall could have avoided 174, 358 safety events, 20,688 senior’s deaths, and an expense exceeding $1.8 billion. Patients have close to a 50% lower chance of experiencing safety indicators at a highly rated hospital than a bottom-ranking one.
One can only wonder about the quality of care across the boards because this study only addresses Medicare patients, a demographic mainly consisting of seniors.
If you has suffered greatly or a loved one died from a preventable medical error, get legal help from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Our attorneys have decades of combined legal experience.
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