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Medical malpractice is a leading cause of death

Oregon residents go to hospitals in order to be diagnosed and treated for whatever ails them. Most people do not think that, in doing so, they will end up the victim of a serious medical error that could cost them their lives. Even so, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death here in the United States.

The last time a study was conducted regarding deaths caused by medical mistakes, which was at least 20 years ago, it was estimated that anywhere between 44,000 and 98,000 die each year due to them. However, the data in that study was recently supplanted by more current information. Researchers now estimate that approximately 10 percent of all of the people who die in the United States die from medical mistakes.

That means that approximately 1 percent of all people who are admitted to the hospital die each year. Some sources believe that this is still not an accurate account of the number of deaths from medical errors, with some saying more and some saying less. However, the debate over the accuracy of the number should take a backseat to the fact that people are dying in hospitals from human errors.

Families across the country, including many here in Oregon, are losing loved ones to misdiagnosis, substandard care and other mistakes caused by doctors, nurses and surgeons, among other hospital personnel. Those responsible may be held accountable for their actions. Filing a medical malpractice claim could provide a grieving family with monetary restitution for the loss and could even help spur changes in policies and procedures that could save lives in the future.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "Medical Errors Are Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.", Steve Sternberg, May 3, 2016

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