Arizona patients who are seeking treatment from one of the many hospitals in the state may be dismayed to learn that, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers, medical errors are the third leading cause of death. In 2013, for example, medical mistakes, which can range from surgical complications to medication errors, resulted in the deaths of in excess of 250,000 patients.
In that year, heart disease was found to be the leading cause of death with 611,105 fatalities while cancer was the second-leading cause with 584,881 fatalities. The third-leading cause of death was listed as respiratory disease with 149,205 fatalities, meaning medical mistakes caused 100,000 more deaths but ultimately did not get the recognition it deserved. Because medical mistakes are not listed, research to prevent these deaths is lacking. Many patients also remain unaware of the risks of medical mistakes simply because they are not talked about.
When the numbers are broken down, there is an average of 700 deaths that are caused by medical mistakes every single day. Further, other research has found that some American doctors are not proficient in the high-risk procedures they perform, potentially leading to some of the medical mistakes that result in death.
When doctor errors result in a worsened medical condition or life-impacting complications, the medical costs and loss of the ability to live life as before can be devastating. However, medical mistakes are not all that uncommon even though patients are often unaware of when they occur. If it becomes evident that an error was made, a medical malpractice attorney could examine the case to see if negligence was present. If so, this could lead to a lawsuit filed against the at-fault practitioner or facility.