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Hospital Patients No Safer Today Than 15 Years Ago

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.