Medical Malpractice Statistics

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Medical malpractice statistics are rather alarming when looked at from the view of a prospective patient.

  • Medical malpractice statistics show that less than half of 1% of the nation's doctors face any serious state sanctions each year. Approximately 2,500 serious disciplinary actions a year are taken against healthcare providers for medical malpractice.  
  • A recent study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences provided some medical malpractice statistics that estimated as many as 98,000 patients may be killed each year in hospitals alone as a result of medical errors. Earlier studies also found that this was a serious national problem.
  • Medical malpractice statistics from a Harvard study showed 1% of patients treated in New York state hospitals were injured, with 25% of those resulting in death because of medical negligence. If those statistics were translated into nationwide, 234,000 injuries and 80,000 deaths would have been reported from negligence in American hospitals.
  • A similar study conducted in California found medical malpractice statistics that show approximately 1% of hospital patients had either been injured by negligence in the hospital or had been hospitalized because of negligent care. Those findings spread nationwide would have yielded an estimate of 249,000 injuries and deaths from negligent medical practice in one year.
  • Expanding these estimates to include general medical practice statistics outside of a hospital, the potential abuse by physicians is even greater. An in-depth interview with 53 family physicians revealed that 47% of the doctors recalled a case in which the patient died due to physician error. Only four of the total reported errors led to malpractice suits, and none of these errors resulted in an action by a peer review organization.
  • It is not unreasonable to estimate that at least 1 percent of doctors in this country deserve some serious disciplinary action each year. This would amount to 7,703 physicians being disciplined each year, a number that, unfortunately, far exceeds the actual number of physicians disciplined.
  • Medical malpractice statistics show that there are between approximately 44,000 and 98,000 people that die in hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors. A survey of doctors and other adults released in the New England Journal of Medicine found that more than a third of the doctors said they or their family members had experienced medical errors, most leading to serious health consequences. The cost to society in terms of disability and health care costs, lost income, lost household production and the personal costs of care are estimated to be between $17 billion and $29 billion. In contrast, the medical liability system costs $6.7 billion annually, about what is spent on dog food each year.
  • Only one malpractice claim is made for every eight medical malpractice injuries and plaintiffs drop 10 times more claims than they pursue. These medical malpractice statistics reflect the lack of proper representation by an attorney in a medical malpractice case. If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice contact an attorney today. Don't be another medical malpractice statistic.

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