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The Statistics of Medical Malpractice

12th March 2007
By John Luke Matthews in Legal
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When a doctor, a medical practitioner, or a medical institution caused more harm for its patient rather than good, it was said that he has been negligent in taking care of his patient's welfare and recovery. Medical malpractice is now getting more rampant than ever, and the cases of medical malpractice in the United States are rising at an alarming rate. A simple act of negligence can cause great injury to its patient, which then can lead to disability or even death.

Just how alarming medical malpractice is nowadays? According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, more than two-thirds of the total claims for medical malpractice come from death of patients. One-third of all the total claims account for "diagnostic errors", mainly due to problems with records, or the practitioner's negligence to look at the patient's medical background prior to treatment. In 2006, medication errors constitute at least 1.5 million harmed individuals, roughly 1.3 million of which had suffered preventable drug-related injuries in outpatient settings. Also, a recent study by Healthgrades found out that preventable medical errors have caused up to almost 100,000 new deaths every year, making it considered a national epidemic.

Medical malpractice claims can help determine where primary health care in the United States can go wrong. Analyses by different primary health care organizations have pinpointed the actual locations where people are being injured and it's usually the outpatients who suffer more than the patients in the hospitals. This does not conclude though that medical errors in hospitals are less adverse than medical errors in an outpatient setting.

The data gathered by these studies are useless unless medical practitioners recognize its value to review their medical process so they can identify the root causes and conditions of these medical errors, especially for those working on high-risk medical categories. Eventually, the information given by these statistics aim at investigating as to how potential injuries can be reduced.


John Luke Matthews is a regular contributor of relevant articles about the jurisprudence of personal injury. He is part of the Mesriani Law Group and is currently taking information technology studies as well.

Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys are expert in handling cases such as vehicle accident, wrongful death, animal attack, and other personal injury cases.
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