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Medical Error Rates Remain Underreported

New Study By The University of Utah Finds That Medical Error Rates Are Underreported

Medical Error Rates Remain Underreported

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (April 22, 2024) – A new study by the University of Utah found that medical errors remain largely unreported.

The study comes at a time it is well understood that medical errors lead to tens of thousands of deaths each year.  Back in 1999, the Institute of Medicine released a study showing that 98,000 Americans die from hospital mistakes each year.

Millions more suffer injuries as a result of medical errors. The University of Utah study, which was published in Health Affairs, revealed that 90% of all hospital mistakes go unreported.

This could include incidents when patients are given the wrong medications. Part of the problem is that the federal government and hospitals have relied on voluntary reporting methods where no one has been held accountable.

Liability For Medical Errors

Hospital errors remain one of the leading causes of serious injury and death in the United States. More people die from hospital errors than car accidents. According to one study in PubMed, “Recent studies of medical errors have estimated errors may account for as many as 251,000 deaths annually in the United States (U.S)., making medical errors the third leading cause of death.” There are a number of common medical errors that can lead to death.

  • Medication Errors: This includes instances when patients are given the wrong medications or incorrect doses of the correct medication.
  • Surgical Errors: Mistakes during surgery are very common. These procedures are very complex and don’t always go well.
  • Infections: Patients have died or been seriously injured after getting an infection in a hospital setting.
  • Diagnostic Errors: An incorrect or delayed diagnosis can have serious consequences.

Depending on the facts of any case, a hospital could be liable for medical malpractice if a patient is injured or killed in their care. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured or killed by a doctor’s or hospital’s deviation from the applicable standard of care. There is no single standard of care for any health-care field. However, a doctor’s or hospital’s standard of care is met when a doctor or hospital with an equivalent skill set would have followed the same procedures and guidelines under identical circumstances. There are four elements that must be shown in order to demonstrate liability for a medical malpractice claim.

  • A Duty of Care Was Owed: The doctor-patient relationship typically means that a duty of care is owed. In most situations, it is not that difficult to establish that a doctor or hospital owes a patient a duty of care.
  • A Duty of Care Was Breached: A doctor isn’t necessarily negligent if their efforts are not successful. Rather, for a breach to be established, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the standard of care they were given differed substantially from what prudent medical peers would do in the same situation.
  • Proximate Cause: The breach of care must have been the proximate cause of the patient’s injuries.
  • Damages: The injury sustained by the patient must have caused actual damages.

It can be hard to know where to begin after being injured in a medical setting. In many situations, patients will not even realize that they were victims of malpractice until many weeks or months later. To make matters worse, hospitals will do everything that they can to deny liability if one of their patients is injured or killed. If you believe that you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, the best thing that you can do is to speak with a New York medical malpractice lawyer.

Getting Legal Help After Medical Malpractice

We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our best wishes to all of the people who have been affected by medical malpractice. Patients trust doctors and hospitals with their lives. But far too often, this trust is misplaced in hospitals that are not following safety guidelines.

Have you or someone that you care about been impacted by medical malpractice? You may have legal recourse. Our team of medical malpractice attorneys is here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that patients are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.

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Jeff Korek

Jeff S. Korek

Senior Trial Partner​

Jeff S. Korek joined Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. in 1992 as the Senior Trial partner. Known for his meticulous preparation and dedication to his clients, Jeff has obtained some of the state’s highest verdicts and settlements.