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Medical Errors Resulted In Record High Patient Injuries In 2023

Hospital Errors Remain Leading Cause of Serious Injury and Death For Patients

Medical Errors Resulted In Record High Patients Injuries In 2023

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (June 19, 2024) – Medical errors that result in serious patient injury and death are at record-high levels, according to the Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Data 2023 annual review. 

Patient falls continue to lead the list of adverse events reported, making up nearly half of all such events. 

Elderly people, those with disabilities, and individuals taking certain medications are at the greatest risk. An estimated 18% of all errors reported resulted in the death of the patient.

The second-highest category of adverse events involved delays in treatment. An estimated 69% of patients who experienced delayed care died due to their illness. 

Most of these deaths and injuries are entirely preventable, often involving systemic failures within hospital or healthcare settings, including breakdowns in teamwork and communication between providers.

Liability For Medical Errors 

In addition to the Joint Commission Annual Review, there is a lot of evidence showing how deadly medical errors can be. According to PubMed, recent studies estimate that 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. Error rates are significantly higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the United Kingdom (U.K.). Hospitals should take a number of measures in order to prevent medical errors:

  • Surgical Safety Checklists: Doctors should use checklists to ensure that all necessary steps are taken before, during, and after any surgery.
  • Enhanced Communication: Hospitals should ensure that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers work together to discuss patient care plans.
  • Safety Culture: Hospitals should promote a non-punitive environment where staff feel free to report errors.

Depending on the facts of a case, a hospital could be liable for an error that results in a patient’s injury or death. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured or killed due to a doctor’s or hospital’s deviation from the applicable standard of care. There is no single standard of care for any healthcare 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. It is important that certain steps be taken after any patient injury or death:

  • Medical records related to the incident should be preserved.
  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • A report on the incident should be created.
  • An experienced medical malpractice attorney should be contacted.

The vast majority of medical errors are preventable. Unfortunately, hospitals and healthcare providers often do everything in their power to deny liability. They may blame other parties or claim that the patient did something wrong. This is why it is so important to have any adverse medical event evaluated by a skilled attorney. A medical malpractice attorney can examine the unique facts of your case and advise you on your legal options.

Investigating New York Medical Malpractice

We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our best wishes to all those impacted by medical errors. Most of these injuries and deaths are highly preventable. It is our sincere hope that measures will be taken to better safeguard the well-being of patients.

Have you or someone you care about been injured due to a medical error? You may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys is here to help in any way we can. We care deeply about ensuring that victims of malpractice are aware of their rights and that those rights are protected. Whether you have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us any time 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.