National Medical Malpractice Occurrences and Statistics

The Minnesota Department of Health stated that from October 2004 to October 2005, 106 medical errors were reported by 47 facilities. Of these reports, 12 deaths occurred and 9 people were seriously disabled.

Nationwide, an estimated 225,000 injuries or deaths occur each year due to misdiagnosis, surgical errors, prescription medication reactions, and other medical errors. Cases of medical malpractice occur most frequently in outpatient settings, although hospitalized patient medical errors are likely to be more severe in nature.

A study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences stated that each year anywhere from 44,000 to 98,000 people are killed due to preventable medical mistakes in hospitals alone. 25% of doctors, mostly surgeons, are sued each year, and fewer than half of 1% of doctors actually face serious disciplinary action due to these errors.

Where are most medical errors happening?

Over 50% of emergency room errors concerned misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose. The two most common malpractice related cases are heart attack and appendicitis. Some studies have shown that about one in 50 heart attack victims are sent home by ER doctors who think nothing is wrong.

The most common cases of medical malpractice are medication injuries affecting 1.5 million people annually, where the medications were incorrectly prescribed or had adverse reactions with other medications. Another 106,000 people are injured each year by properly prescribed medications.

Surgical errors such as incision mistakes, unsanitary tools, organ punctures, and anesthesia errors can be devastating and deadly. The Bureau of Justice Statistics stated that almost 50% of malpractice trials were against surgeons. Residents work long and hard hours and are often sleep deprived-- 10% of residents suggested that sleep deprivation occurred almost daily.

Over 2.6 million people live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities nationwide. Nursing home abuse is only reported about 20% of the time while one study found that 44% of nursing home residents have been subjected to some kind of abuse. Patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia comprise 66% of nursing home residents. These patients may not even be aware at times that abuse is taking place. Most nursing home staff blame the shortage of personnel in abuse or neglect cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

We can help you with your medical malpractice claim

Medical errors are devastating and can lead to death or serious injury which would result in loss of income and ongoing medical expenses, not to mention loss of household production. Medical malpractice cases are difficult and require meticulous documentation and research which is why you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Contact us today and we will help you with your medical malpractice case.