Friday, December 26, 2003

Malpractice incidents high compared to the number of lawsuits filed

It was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, July 1991, that only one person in 65 injured by a doctor's negligence ever files suit. -- New England Journal of Medicine July 1991.
Researchers analyzed 30,121 hospital records of patients discharged from 51 New York State Hospitals in 1984. Of that sample, an estimated 27,177 cases involved some type of medical negligence, including 6,895 deaths and 877 instances of permanent disability of more than 50 percent.
About 16 times as many patients suffered an injury from negligence as received compensation from the tort liability system. Of these accidental medical injuries, 70 percent were preventable.
If included in the National Vital Statistics Report, deaths by medical errors would have been listed as the No. 5 leading cause of death in the U.S. Texas Medical Error statistics.

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