March is National Patient Safety Awareness Month. A study published recently in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that more than 400,000 Americans die every year from preventable medical errors, which makes preventable medical errors the No. 3 killer in the U.S., third only to heart disease and cancer. In other words, preventable medical errors are responsible for the death of more than 1000 Americans every day.
Some other studies suggest that preventable medical errors also result in additional 10,000 serious complications every day. Hippocrates must be spinning in his grave. We at Terrell • Hogan recognize the importance of measuring the magnitude of these medical errors, deaths, and injuries. However, we also recognize that preventing these errors, deaths, and injuries and holding the providers responsible for these errors accountable is even more important. Our experience prosecuting medical malpractice cases over the past 40 years reveals that many of these medical errors occur as a result of hospitals putting profits before patient safety. Patients deserve better. No American should die from medical errors in the 21st century. Below also are some links to online resources for patients and patients’ families.
United for Patient Safety
Center for Patient Safety
National Patient Safety Foundation