The Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging recently heard testimony
that patients are still dying and being harmed because of preventable
medical errors at an alarming rate. The Institute of Medicine issued a
report fifteen-years ago titled "To Err is Human," which was
an eye-opening investigation into the number of preventable deaths and
injuries occuring in hospitals each year due to medical errors. In light
of this report, the medical community was called to implement reforms
to help prevent these unnecessary deaths and injuries, which are obviously
devastating on patients, their families, and the overall cost to the healthcare
system. Unfortunately, the evidence shows that hospitals all over the
country are failing to make the necessary changes.
Medical errors are considred the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart
disease and cancer. The Journal of Patient Safety has estimated that about
400,000 people die each year due to preventable medical errors. These
are staggering and scary statistics.
At Rourke and Blumenthal, we have seen firsthand the devasting consequences
of poor medical care. There is no question that more needs to be done
by our medical community to improve the care in our hospitals. That is
why we as trial lawyers do what we do. By holding medical providers accountable
for their preventable errors, we are bringing about positive change. If
medical providers are held responsible for their preventable errors, hopefully
next time the error will be avoided, and a life will be saved.