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How Prevalent Are Preventable Medical Errors?

Operating on the wrong body part, such as the right instead of the left arm is a gross medical error ― and obviously, also a preventable mistake. According to one study, surgeons across the United States operate on wrong body parts as frequently as 40 times a week. If you or a loved one suffers injury from preventable medical error, consult a Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer about taking legal action.

An article called “How to Stop Hospitals from Killing Us” appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Dr. Marty Makary, a Johns Hopkins Hospital surgeon and developer of World Health Organization (WHO) surgical checklists wrote the article. Dr. Makary is also the author of a book called Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care. Some shocking facts he discloses about preventable medical errors include:

  • Some type of medical error harms roughly 25% of all hospitalized patients
  • If medical errors ranked as a disease, they would be the sixth leading cause of U.S. deaths
  • An estimated 20%–30% of all medications, tests and procedures are unnecessary

Dr. Makary recommends ways to revolutionize the quality of healthcare, such as installing cameras to record procedures and operations, and using online operational dashboards that publicize hospitals’ infection and readmission rates along with surgical complications and errors that never should happen. He advocates letting the public decide which hospitals to use based on the statistics. These corrective actions point to transparency — and exposing preventable errors. When injury attorneys in Cincinnati file a medical malpractice lawsuit, this is another way of making errors known. It also allows injured patients to have recourse and not be saddled with the financial burden created by a medical mistake.

The Law Firm of Weisser & Wolf has decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases.

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