September 17, 2019, will mark another International Patient Safety Day, a global initiative aimed at raising awareness about patient safety and well-being. International Patient Safety Day (IPSD) hopes to encourage people to stand up for their healthcare rights and safety. Unfortunately, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. According to a John Hopkins study, anywhere from 250,000 to 440,000 people die every single year because of medical mistakes. This means that errors made by doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other trusted healthcare personnel kill almost as many people as heart disease and cancer.
If these statistics shock you, you aren’t alone. Hospitals often have a lot of money behind them, allowing them to cover up medical mistakes and lawsuits brought for medical malpractice. But here at Green Law Firm, we believe that knowledge is power. As medical malpractice affects more and more Americans, we must educate the global population about the importance of patient rights. This September 17th, we ask you to join us in speaking up for patient safety for the first-ever International Patient Safety Day.
As a personal injury law firm, we have seen firsthand how devastating even the smallest medical mistake can be. When doctors and other healthcare professionals do not operate with the utmost care and attention, they are putting their patients at risk. In many cases, patients end up injured – or worse – because of negligence on the part of their medical team. The last thing anyone expects when they visit their doctor or a hospital is to walk away with even more problems. If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice or lost a loved one due to a medical error, please contact Green Law Firm today. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers are here to go over the details of your case and help you determine what the next step is.
What Is It?
IPSD is a campaign dedicated to bringing those within the healthcare system together in the name of patient safety. As more and more people die because of preventable medical errors, it has become evident that something must be done to improve the current system.
This year’s topic is Safety Culture at All Levels.
When medical mistakes happen, many spread blame to others who are either higher or lower on the chain of command. However, patient safety is everyone’s business as the campaign motto goes. Every single person, medical team, and unit has a say in how well – or poorly – the patient is cared for. According to the Chairwoman of the German Coalition for Patient Safety, “we still haven’t managed to noticeably reduce preventable harm.”
With this in mind, the IPSD team plans to introduce certain initiatives. These initiatives will improve safety in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. Some of the suggestions include digitizing medical records and notes and focusing on medication safety.
Why is Advocating for Patient Safety Important?
The focus of this year’s International Patient Safety Day is more pertinent than ever because of how many medical errors lead to patient deaths. On this day, awareness on the following:
- Effective ways to improve quality and safety in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other settings
- Top issues related to patient safety
- How patients can control their own safety
How Failing the Patient Can Lead to Medical Malpractice
With the latest estimates of the number of medical errors that lead to patient deaths published, it is clear that the time to take control of patient safety is now. As the third-leading cause of death in the United States, medical malpractice is a very serious concern for patients of all ages. Medical mistakes don’t just happen when a doctor is distracted, negligent, or underqualified, but because of missing patient safety protocols.
This is why initiatives such as International Patient Safety Day are so important. The lack of public awareness about medical errors is one of the reasons medical mistakes continue to happen. This must stop. As of right now, there isn’t a national system in place that tracks medical errors. The number of deaths caused by medical mistakes is based on studies, not recorded data. This September 17th, we hope the importance of implementing such a system is made clear.
Common Causes of Medical Malpractice
Medical errors have now surpassed Alzheimer’s, diabetes, stroke, and many other conditions as the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Yes, we’ve said this before, but we cannot reiterate how problematic this is. However, there is no public outrage. When patients go to the doctor or hospital, they expect to receive a high level of care and attention. Unfortunately, more often than not, this does not happen.
Some of the most common causes of medical malpractice in the United States include:
- Communication breakdowns among the medical staff
- Failure to diagnose
- Misreading laboratory or other test results
- Ignoring laboratory or other test results
- Improper medication dosage
- Unnecessary surgery
- Failing to follow-up after surgery or another procedure
- Not taking into consideration the patient’s history
- Surgical errors
- Wrong-site surgery
- Failure to order the right tests
- Failure to recognize all the symptoms
- Negligent prenatal care
- Negligence during childbirth
- Incorrect prescription
- Anesthesia errors
These are just some of the most common things that can go wrong and lead to medical negligence. If your doctor or another medical staff member has provided substandard care, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What to Consider Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
In the event of negligence or recklessness on the part of the medical professional, medical malpractice may have occurred. It is important you discuss your case with an experienced medical malpractice attorney before moving forward. Numerous considerations go into filing this type of lawsuit, including:
- Did the doctor fail to provide a level of care that a similarly skilled doctor would’ve provided?
- Did the doctor make a preventable mistake?
- What was the medical standard of care in the situation?
- Was the doctor reckless or under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they were providing care?
- Did the doctor fail to warn the patient of known risks?
As you can see, many different considerations go into filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you have answered yes to any of the above, we encourage you to contact Green Law Firm and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We understand how challenging and sensitive these types of cases can be and will do everything we can to fight for your rights.
And remember – September 17th is your chance to raise awareness about patient safety during International Patient Safety Day.