By Jay W. Dankner, managing partner of the top New York medical malpractice law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C.
Medical malpractice is an ongoing problem throughout the U.S. and it doesn’t seem to be one that will be getting better any time soon. This is especially true if you look at the startling number of issues involving medical negligence in American hospitals in the past year. Despite a number of recent articles in medical industry trade journals detailing claims of an ongoing effort on the part of hospital management in most parts of the country to reduce their institutions’ exposure to medical malpractice litigation, the eerie reality is that medical malpractice continues to be one of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S.
According to an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 100,000 hospitalized Americans die every year as a result of medical malpractice. In fact, there are more deaths due to errors made by doctors and hospitals in the U.S. than there are from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, AIDS, falls, drownings and aviation accidents. Most shockingly, an individual’s chances of surviving a hospital stay has only marginally improved over the past decade despite all of the advancements made in the development of medical technology and systems for managing patients’ medical records.
New York State alone had more than 7000 deaths last year as a result of hospital negligence. According to The New York Department of Health Office of Professional Medical Conduct, medication errors account for a relatively high percentage of instances of medical malpractice. One of the most common errors involves physicians, or other healthcare workers, giving patients the wrong dosage of prescribed medication(s). In New York State alone, approximately 1,400 people die each year due to medication errors, which amounts to more than 20% of all medical negligence injuries in the state.
Nationally, one in five U.S. hospital patients annually receives an incorrect dose of medication. It is estimated that at least one patient in a U.S. hospital dies every day from a medication error.
And according to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, more than a million people are seriously injured each year due to failures by hospital staff to administer correct medication dosages to patients.
Other leading causes of medical malpractice involve diagnostic errors such as a misdiagnosis and late diagnosis of an disease, such as breast cancer, that leads to an incorrect or late choice of medication or therapy to treat the disease; the failure to use a necessary diagnostic test; a misinterpretation of test results; and, a failure to act on suspicious and/or abnormal test results. Equipment failures at critical moments (i.e. defibrillators with dead batteries); post-surgical wound infections, giving patients the wrong blood type in transfusions, and misinterpretation of other medical orders by doctors, such as failing to give a patient a salt-free meal, continue to have a significant impact on hospital patient mortality.
If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact one of our lawyers at Dankner Milstein for a free consultation at 212-751-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our firm has recovered more than $500 million for clients we’ve represented; and has secured more than two hundred (200) verdicts and settlements of one million dollars or higher.
We are rated nationally in the top tier in medical malpractice litigation by Best Lawyers in America and all named partners are consistently named as New York ”Super Lawyers.”