A medical error is a preventable adverse effect of medical care, whether it is evident or harmful to the patient. When a healthcare provider acts, or fails to act, it is called malpractice or medical negligence – if that treatment falls below the accepted standard of care for the community. All too often this failure can cause injury or death to a patient. Clearly, high incidents of errors with serious consequences are most likely to occur in intensive care units, operating rooms, and emergency departments. Medical errors are typically associated with extremes of age, new procedures, the urgency of the moment, and the severity of the medical condition being treated.
Costly Medical Mistakes
Medical errors cost about $20 billion per year annually since a medical error inevitably leads to more medical expenses to correct or treat additional issues. These payments often fall on outside parties, such as Medicare. As many as one in seven Medicare patients experience some sort of medical mistake. Medical errors amount to more than monetary expenses, they can also lead to prolonged illness, permanent disability, or even death.
A 2020 Yale School of Medicine meta-analysis of eight studies of inpatient deaths, indicated that the number of preventable medical related deaths at just over 22,000 a year in the United States. Most of these hospital errors involved poor monitoring or management of medical conditions, diagnostic errors, and errors related to surgery and procedures.
When Medical Errors Become Malpractice
Ultimately, there are many causes of medical errors and most hospitals have introduced rules and regulations to minimize these errors with a system of checks. But medical errors can still occur. Medical Malpractice can involve situations of:
- Surgical errors
- Birth injury
- Hypoxic-Induced Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose
- Emergency room & hospital errors
- Nursing home injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Medical malpractice claims are some of the most complicated and difficult to pursue because a medical malpractice case relies on medically oriented documents and testimony provided by knowledgeable experts; typically, medical professionals. In a medical malpractice case, it’s imperative that the attorney understands and can clarify the medical complexities that may apply.
When You Need Help with Medical Malpractice
Dr. Sawyer’s extensive experience as a surgeon will help determine if the medical mistakes rise to the level of medical malpractice, and if so, he will make those at fault be accountable. Because of our understanding of Law, Medicine and the Health Care System, we may be able to seek compensation on your behalf. We have access to leading medical experts to assist in your recovery and treatment.
Contact the Law Offices of Dr. Russell W. Sawyer for a free consultation. We can be reached by phone at (707) 888-1118. We represent clients throughout California.