The American healthcare system is one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world, but medical malpractice and negligence are still large factors in deaths and injuries in hospitals, surgical centers, and care facilities across the country.
The US healthcare system entitles citizens to a high standard of care designed to protect and better their lives. Doctors, hospitals, and other medical care facilities are expected to provide patients with that same “standard of care” across treatments and procedures. Unfortunately, the number of medical malpractice cases as a result of a range of human errors remains a concern for patients seeking medical treatment.
A study by Johns Hopkins University showed nearly 250,000 Americans die each year due to medical malpractice, recognizing medical malpractice as “an under-recognized cause of death.” Another study found that the majority of medical mistakes occur in intensive care units, operating rooms, and emergency departments where the lack of precision and human error can have severe consequences.
In an effort to raise awareness of medical malpractice and help minimize the occurrences of negligence in the medical profession, The National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association (NMMAA) organizes and promotes National Medical Malpractice Awareness Month each July. Providing resources and education to individuals, as well as seeking legislative initiatives, the NMMAA promotes change within the profession as well as guidance and support for individuals and families who have suffered due to medical malpractice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional fails to provide the proper standard of care to a patient, resulting in injury to the patient. Injuries caused by medical malpractice can be severe and the resulting medical costs can be overwhelming. The practitioner or institution that is at fault for providing sub-par treatment that results in injury or death can be held financially responsible for all of the damages incurred by the incident.
In order for a claim to be considered medical malpractice, there must be a demonstrated violation of the standard of care, an injury caused by that deviation from proper practice, and significant damages for the injured person.
Most Common Medical Errors
Medical errors can occur across a variety of situations from the prescription of the wrong medication that causes a severe reaction to the amputation of the wrong limb in surgery. These errors cause significant injury and in some cases, result in wrongful death. Some of the most common medical errors include:
- Diagnostic errors
- Medication errors
- Delayed treatment
- Understaffed hospitals
- Surgical errors
- Hospital-related infections
When to Seek Legal Assistance
When medical malpractice or negligence accidents occur, resulting in severe and permanent injury or wrongful death, patients and their families have the right to seek justice and reparations through a lawsuit.
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously challenging to unravel and incurred medical costs and treatments following an injury can add up quickly. If you believe that you or a family member has been the victim of medical negligence or malpractice do not hesitate to contact a reliable medical malpractice attorney right away. Our team of experienced Hawaii medical malpractice attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of your case and help you understand your rights while you recover.