New York residents may be aware that preventable medical deaths occur in hospitals each year in the United States. According to a representative from Health Watch USA, there have been a few reports that have estimated the annual number to be more than 200,000. Some of the preventable conditions that may lead to patient deaths while in a hospital setting include bed ulcers, blood clots and surgical errors.
Infections while in the hospital as well as errors diagnosing patients may also lead to preventable deaths. However, not all are convinced that the figures are accurate. Some criticisms of the data include an inability to determine an exact cause of death or the possibility that a patient’s lifestyle may have contributed to medical problems. Another criticism is that some patients may be near the end of their lives when they arrive at the hospital.
In response, the representative from Health Watch USA suggested that the data tended to underestimate the number of preventable deaths as opposed to overestimating them. Furthermore, it was mentioned that shortening a patient’s life by only a few days didn’t take away from the severity of the error. Regardless of what someone may think of the quality of the data, almost everyone agrees that more should be done to improve patient outcomes.
Unfortunately, substandard hospital care remains a significant problem, ranging from improper dosages of medication made by overwhelmed staff to errors in the operating room. When a patient dies from what appears to be negligence, an attorney can often help the surviving family members seek appropriate compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against the health care facility.