The third leading cause of death in the United Sates may come from those you trust the most. A new study published in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) found that medical errors may cause over 250,000 deaths a year in the United State alone. Topped only by heart disease and cancer, these errors by medical professionals include diagnostic errors, surgical errors, infection, medication errors, communication breakdowns, failure to perform the necessary tests and even healthcare worker fatigue. The findings were created from studies done at Johns Hopkins Medicine starting in 1999.
Researchers around the world continue to look into what drives a dangerous issue in medicine: the "August Effect." It has been found that the month of August is the most dangerous time for hospital patients, as morbidity and mortality rates seemingly increase in August. The concern is whether or not this is a malpractice issue related to junior doctors taking over more responsibility as the summer ends, due to residency and internship start and changeover times, or some other systemic problem. One study in England found that the cause of the "August Effect" was not junior doctors, but that possible likely factors are: errors, poor prioritization, and omissions. This is a scary scenario and something that personal injury lawyers who handle medical malpractice cases are monitoring closely. Hospitals need to be a place where patients feel safe and are taken care of by qualified, skilled doctors, nurses, and administrative personnel. Patients cannot be the victims of budget cuts, over worked staff, or other issues that are not their fault. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or bad outcome as a result of any type of medical negligence by a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical provider, you should contact a skilled personal injury attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases. The law in Illinois for medical malpractice matters is very technical and different from that pertaining to other personal injury matters, such as car accidents, slip and fall injuries, and the like. Only a qualified personal injury lawyer can properly advise you about a potential medical malpractice case.