Despite rapidly advancing medical advances, the rate of medical errors in the United States has continued to increase. This is alarming, especially considering that most people in this country seek assistance from a medical professional more than one time each year. Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys want to discuss medical malpractice trends for 2020.
Medical mistakes are still prevalent
Johns Hopkins researchers have said that preventable medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US. They say that these errors kill as many as 250,000 innocent victims each year and injure millions more. This information comes more than 20 years after the Institute of Medicine published a report called “To Err Is Human,” which sounded the medical mistake alarm bells in the US.
We have not made much progress. Why, with all of the medical advances and increasing life spans, are medical errors still killing more people?
At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we are watching the following medical malpractice trends this year:
Not recognizing the Coronavirus (Covid-19): The Coronavirus that began in the Wuhan region of China has now spread throughout the globe. Initially, doctors were not looking out for signs of this disease because they mimic other illnesses. Now that we know the Coronavirus is spreading, doctors and nurses should be aware that their patients may contract the disease. Failing to do so could result in death and the spread of the illness.
Emergency room malpractice: In many cases of medical malpractice, the claims arise due to what happens to a patient in the ER. In these areas, doctors and nurses are overworked and frequently understaffed. They tend to miss a diagnosis or fail to treat patients properly in these situations.
More ICD code training: Healthcare providers use a set of codes called the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10). The US did not formally adopt these codes until 2015, which was more than 20 years after they were implemented. Doctors were not prepared for the change, and when a doctor improperly codes a patient’s diagnosis, it can lead to major medical errors for the patient in the future, including how healthcare professionals treat them in the future.
Let us help secure the compensation you are entitled to
If you or somebody you love has been injured or become ill due to a mistake made by a healthcare professional, seek legal assistance immediately. The team at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. will conduct a thorough investigation into what happened so we can secure the compensation you are entitled to. This can include:
Coverage of all medical expenses related to the error(s)
Any lost income and benefits you incur if you cannot work
Loss of enjoyment of life damages
Pain and suffering damages
Possible punitive damages against the healthcare provider or agency responsible