If you were to write a list of the leading causes of death in America, what would you write? No doubt heart disease would top the list. Cardiovascular problems have been killing millions of Americans since the epidemic began after WWW. You might place cancer a close second, and you’d be right. That disease now affects between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3 people. Then next you might put down a whole host of other diseases, including stroke, diabetes, and car accidents.
But I bet you there is one cause of death that wouldn’t make it to your list. In fact, I bet if you had a whole day to think about the leading causes of death it still wouldn’t make it. In fact, the very word used for the deaths is almost a cover for what is actually going on. In the US, the third leading cause of death is iatrogenic deaths. Iatrogenic sounds like just another disease, although you might think that if it were so common, you would have heard of it. But it’s not a disease. The word means “medical-caused” and it’s a big problem.
Shockingly, something like 400,000 Americans die each year because of the treatment they receive. Modern medicine looks back at nineteenth-century medical practices like blood-letting with horror. But the truth is that we are still in a state of ignorance today. Worryingly, despite all the training they receive, doctors are behind four-fifths of all deaths. And this is represented in the statistics. Only 3 out of ten people would recommend their doctor to family or a friend.
The Costs Of Medical Errors Are Rising
Medical negligence solicitors, like Heard Robins Cloud LLP, are doing good business. The rising costs of medical errors are estimated at $260 billion in the US alone. Much of that number is the result of prescribing incorrect treatment. And a lot more is lost through fraud. More is received in the form of medical negligence settlements and court cases.
Few Doctors Are Paying Out For Their Errors
Perhaps a more sobering fact is that few doctors ever pay compensation to patients. It’s almost expected that if patients are the victim of medical mistakes, that they should just put up with it. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine put the whole issue into context. It found that only 1 in 12 doctors was sued for medical negligence. That may sound like a lot. But when you consider that only a fifth of those suits was successful, it isn’t.
What’s more, many of those doctors that are sued get to continue practising. It’s their insurance company that pays out and the whole incident is largely forgotten.
Malpractice Ruins Lives
Perhaps worst of all is the effect that medical malpractice has on the lives of those that it affects. Each year thousands of people are permanently damaged by medical malpractice. And each year a fraction of those people die. The problem is wholly under reported in the media. But every time a person is injured or dies from malpractice, it ruins the lives of that person and the whole network of people around them.
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