According to a recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, as many as 440,000 people die each year as a the result of preventable medical errors. This data means that preventable medical mistakes now rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States – a staggering number that puts doctor and hospital errors before things like heart disease and car accidents. As the Forbes article points out, this figure is equivalent to the entire population of Atlanta or Miami.
Despite the research, few people seem to know just how high these numbers have climbed. In 1999, for example, the Institute of Medicine found that 98,000 people died each year from preventable medical errors.
Florida Hospitals among the Most Deadly
Even more disturbing, a safety ranking report released by Consumer Reports puts several Florida hospitals at the bottom of a nationwide list of hospitals from all over the country. No Florida hospitals made the top of the list, and one Florida hospital – St. Petersburg General Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida – scored at the very bottom, with just 25 points out of a possible 100. The Miami Herald compiled a list showing how Florida hospitals stacked up in the survey, which reveals North Shore Medical Center of Miami and Palmetto General Hospital of Hialeah at the bottom with 34 and 35 points respectively.
The report used a combination of factors to rate hospitals. Factors included hospital-to-patient communication, readmission rates, number of infections, and overuse of CT scans.
How to Protect Yourself
With so many preventable mistakes happening in hospitals across the country, it’s important to take steps to ensure your experience is as safe as possible.
- Tell your health care providers about any allergies and medications, including vitamins and supplements, you are taking.
- Be your own health care advocate. Ask questions and talk to your doctor about your concerns.
- Make sure your health care providers have your complete medical record.
Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical mistake, it’s important to contact an attorney right away. The time limits for filing these types of cases can be very short. The personal injury attorneys at Emerson Straw, PL can inform you of your options and help you determine the next steps in your case. Call Emerson Straw, PL at (727) 821-1500 to speak to an attorney about your case.