Jacksonville FL Lawyers Discuss Medical Malpractice Stats

Medical Malpractice Statistics

Medical malpractice is a serious national problem. That conclusion has been reached across the board by numerous studies.

A recent study by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences estimates as many as 98,000 patients are killed a year in hospitals due to medical errors, yet fewer than half of one percent of doctors face serious sanctions. One percent would amount to almost 8,000 doctors in the U.S.

It may be surprising to find that just as many people are killed by hospital infections, the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. A failure to follow a safety checklist can be blamed, along with germ-laden instruments and a failure to do an assessment of a patient for antibiotic resistance before they enter the hospital.

An April 2006 study showed that medical errors are on the rise and a quarter of a million Medicare patients were killed by preventable medical errors. The study by HealthGrades, a hospital and doctor healthcare rating company, found 1.24 million patient safety incidents occurred 2002 through 2004, up from 1.18 million between 2001 and 2003.

Medical malpractice can include:

  • A failure to diagnose
  • Wrong-site surgery
  • A hospital infection
  • Overprescribing or underprescribing drugs
  • A birth injury
  • Leaving an instrument in a patient
  • Ignoring a patient and their symptoms

We know medical malpractice increase when a medical resident or doctor works long hours without sleep. Residents can go more than 36 hours without sleep in their first year as new doctors. Surgeons who are on-call can log more than a 72-hour work week.

Who is being disciplined for medical malpractice? Over five percent of doctors account for 54.2 percent of malpractice errors, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank. It finds that 13 percent of doctors who have five medical malpractice strikes against them (payouts) or more have been disciplined. Florida ranks at the bottom of states that take medical license revocation seriously.

In Florida, 3,000 to over 5,000 deaths occur each year from medical malpractice. That is more than the combined number who die of breast cancer, AIDS, and homicides.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, just over 90,000 medical malpractice claims were filed in 2002, up from 86,480 filed in 2000.

According to Public Citizen’s study, “The Great Medical Malpractice Hoax” (January 2007), serious medical injury is being compensated by juries. Of the 94% of medical malpractice payments (jury verdicts and settlements), 82% of the payments were to compensate the most severe injuries such as severe brain injury, paralysis or the loss of limbs.

According to Public Citizen, three out of 10 doctors who had 10 or more malpractice claims for which they had paid an injured patient, continue to practice. That means doctors without any malpractice claims are covering the insurance for the doctors with the most claims.

According to a published survey in the New England Journal of Medicine, the annual cost to society over medical malpractice in terms of lost income, disability, and health care costs is estimated to be between $17 and $29 billion.

Let the Jacksonville FL Medical Malpractice Attorneys Help

If you or a loved one has suffered from a doctor or hospital error, you have a right to be compensated for your loss and their negligence. Our Jacksonville medical malpractice attorneys offer a complimentary and comprehensive review of your case to increase your successful odds of challenging the medical establishment. Contact us at 877-245-6707.


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