Late last week, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging held a hearing in Washington to examine problems within the U.S. healthcare system.
What they heard from clinicians and health administrators alike was chilling… between 800,000 and 900,000 people in the U.S. die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.
That puts conventional medical care as the #3 killer in this country – just behind heart disease and cancer.
The Committee Chair, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), said this at the outset of the hearing, “Medical harm is a major cause of suffering, disability, and death – as well as a huge financial cost to our nation. This is a problem that has not received anywhere near the attention that it deserves and today I hope that we can focus a spotlight on this matter of such grave consequence.”
Clinicians testified at the hearing that the major causes of hospital deaths in these cases were:
- Hospital acquired infections
- Preventable blood clots
- Adverse drug events
- Over-exposure to medical radiation
- Diagnostic errors
Beyond the cost in lives, experts testified that medical errors cost the U.S. economy over $1 trillion per year in direct and indirect costs (e.g., lost productivity).
Is there anything that can be done about it?
- First, hospitals must be held accountable to take the necessary steps to decrease the number of errors made. As things currently work – there is more profit to be made in a system bedeviled by errors (something the AMA recently called “troubling but not surprising…”). This must change.
- Drug makers and medical equipment manufacturers must also be held accountable for the research they conduct and report, for the products they sell, and for the influence they have over medical decision makers.
- Advocates for patients‘ rights must continue to seek changes that will bring greater safeguards to consumers.
If you or a loved one is ever the victim of a defective drug, the improper prescription of a drug therapy, over-exposure to medical radiation, a hospital acquired infection, a fall while in the hospital, a preventable blood clot, or a misdiagnosis, call a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer. A knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of defective drug and medical malpractice cases over our nearly 60 years serving the people of Connecticut.
We have a great team of legal experts dedicated to medical malpractice in Connecticut. Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.