Archive for April, 2014

325,000 Medical Malpractice Deaths Each Year in the US

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Californian Senator Barbara Boxer released a report urging California’s doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to focus on improving the quality of medical services provided in hospitals and clinics. With a yearly average of 325,000 deaths in the US caused by medical errors, medical malpractice is becoming the third largest cause of death in the nation after cancer and heart diseases. Senator Boxer has urged all the medical practitioners and facilities to increase efforts to decrease deaths caused by human error.

The top medical errors listed in the report were catheter linked urinary tract infections, adversative medicine effects, pneumonia associated with mismanaged ventilator usage and blood clots. Attending a healthcare conference at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California Senator Barbara Boxer said that we cannot waste time on this matter and must do something in order to make our medical staff more responsible and effective in their duties. “We can save thousands of precious lives in the US each year with the right measures taken against medical malpractice.”

The Californian senator toured hospitals all around the state and examined the steps being taken against medical carelessness. Alone this year, The California Department of Public Health has fined five different hospitals $250, 000 in penalties due to medical malpractice. One of those medical facilities being UCLA, where a sponge was left inside the abdomen of a patient during surgery in 2011.  Although the patient did not die, a surgery had to be conducted to remove the painful object from inside his abdomen.

Another medical malpractice case filed against UCLA was at their Medical Center in Torrance where a patient lost too much blood during a knee replacement surgery. The man ended up in coma because of the excess blood loss and died six months later. The hospital was administered by Los Angeles County and was fined $50, 000 for medical malpractice.

Dr. David Perrott, Senior Vice President of the California Hospital Association, said that all of the hospitals in the state are working hard to decrease hospital errors. “We’re making improvements, but we realize we have a lot to do.” Medical malpractice cases were at their highest in California in the past two years. However, with the combined efforts of legislators and hospitals, that number will drastically decrease.