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New Study Finds Hospital Errors Occur 10 Times More Than Reported

Posted on April 19, 2011

MSN reports that about 90 percent of hospital errors are going unreported by hospitals and federal regulators. A study published in the journal Health Affairs provides a snapshot of just how underreported incidents of medication errors, pressure sores, and staph infections are. A review discovered 354 adverse events like bloodstream infections, pressure sores, and medication errors at three teaching hospitals in the U.S. A system designed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality identified 35 cases at these facilities while the hospitals’ voluntary reporting programs only found four, according to the study. Underestimating the number of medical errors makes it even more difficult to understand and improve quality medical services.

In a 1998 report by The Institute of Medicine “To Err is Human” found that medical errors accounted for 98,000 deaths and 1 million injuries every year in the U.S. Ever since that report there has been an emphasis on improving outcomes and reducing medical errors. A six-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that one in five patients in North Carolina was injured by the hospital or practitioners. Beside a loss of life, medical errors cost $17.1 billion in the U.S. in 2008, reports Bloomberg, quoting a medical claims consulting firm, Milliman Inc.

Medical malpractice can involve a host of mistakes, from over medicating to under-diagnosing and wrong-site surgeries; all of which are preventable. If you or a family member has been a victim of a medical error, the tragedy is only compounded when it is allowed to continue. Contact the Florida medical malpractice attorneys Farah & Farah for a confidential and complete assessment of your case so we can determine how we can help you recover the costs associated with your injury. Remember, there is a limited time within which to bring an action so don’t delay.