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Medical malpractice: how common are medical errors in America?

Our readers have likely seen previous posts here that have discussed just how much of a problem medical malpractice is in our country. Every day, people in Connecticut and nationwide go to their health care providers expecting top-level treatment. Unfortunately, there are many instances of mistakes or errors that leave the patient in a worsened condition -- or even result in death. But, just how common are medical errors in America?

A recent report noted that medical errors are so common in our country that they are, in fact, the third leading cause of death in America. The estimates are that more than a quarter-million people die in America each year due to medical errors. If that sounds like a staggeringly high number, it is. To put it in perspective, this means, as the recent report noted, that more people are dying due to medical errors than there are people who are dying due to some of the injuries and illnesses that they are actually seeking treatment for.

However, many people who go to the doctor or a hospital for medical treatment are made aware of the fact that something unexpected could happen, during surgery for instance. In many cases, doctors cannot guarantee an outcome for a particular patient and may inform the patient of that fact. So, just how many medical errors are actually preventable?

Well, according to the recent report, almost 100,000 of the deaths that occur due to medical errors each year occurred in situations in which the error could have been prevented. That is more than one-third of all deaths caused due to medical errors. When medical malpractice occurs in Connecticut, patients or the surviving family members may need to take legal action.

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Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C.
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Bridgeport, CT 06604

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