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What Are Preventable Medical Errors?

Unfortunately, a great number of people suffer from preventable medical errors every year, and medical malpractice remains a high-ranking source of death for Americans. If you believe you suffered injury because of medical malpractice or a loved one died as a result of it, consult a Maine medical malpractice lawyer about the prospects of pursuing a lawsuit.

In 1999, The Institute of Medicine published shocking statistics about the prevalence of preventable medical errors. In fact, you can still find the facts quoted in many other articles today. The article was called To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, Institute of Medicine, 1999. The article stated the following:

  • At least 48,000 and upwards of 98,000 people die in hospitals annually from preventable medical errors
  • Deaths attributed to preventable medical errors exceed deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer and AIDS

Medical errors can fit either of these definitions:

  • Failure of a planned action to be completed as intended
  • Use of a wrong plan to achieve a goal

Examples of medical errors include:

  • Adverse drug events
  • Improper infusions
  • Surgical injuries
  • Wrong-site surgeries
  • Restraint-related injuries or death
  • Falls
  • Burns
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Mistaken patient identities

Preventable medical errors can occur during treatment, diagnosis, preventative care and equipment failure, or as a result of other types of communication failures in the medical system.

A medical malpractice attorney in Maine has the job of proving that a medical practitioner failed to adhere to acceptable medical standards of care and as a result the client suffered injury.

Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. has access to top medical professionals who can help us prove medical malpractice. Find out how we can help.