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Hospital Errors On the Rise

Hospitals across the country are reporting a rise in serious medical errors and other patient injuries that occurred last year. In Massachusetts, acute-care hospitals reported 753 serious medical errors and 206 other serious reportable events in other types of hospitals, including facilities that provide psychiatric or rehabilitative care.

Last year, hospitals also reported more patient falls, serious bed sores, assaults, suicides, and suicide attempts. Instances where patients underwent a procedure on the wrong body part, were burned in an operating room fire or too-hot surgical implement, or were subjected to contaminated drugs or improperly sterilized equipment, saw some of the largest increases in reported events since 2012.

Lapses occur regularly in hospitals across the country, and even though hospitals are paying more attention to reducing hazards, the simultaneous pressure to care for more patients as well as cut costs make reducing the instances of adverse events incredibly difficult. The federal government prohibits facilities from charging for services provided as a result of a reportable event, such as follow-up surgeries or other procedures, as a way to deter hospitals from making mistakes. Unfortunately, though, the number of serious medical errors is still on the rise.

Medical Malpractice in Florida

In the United States, you are 33,000 times more likely to die as a result of a medical error than to die in an airplane accident. Almost twenty percent of all hospital patients will suffer harm from a medical error while in the hospital, and as many as 98,000 people die every year from serious medical errors and infections. The most common causes of serious medical errors include sleep deprivation of hospital employees, bad sanitation, inefficient record keeping, and poor communication.

In 2011, Florida had a total of 168 people die and another 386 victims injured as a result of serious medical incidents in the hospital. These mishaps included medication errors, surgeries on the wrong body part, foreign objects being left behind during surgery, and other major hospital errors. What is more alarming is that in Florida, only the most serious of hospital errors are reported, so the total number of instances of hospital mistakes in the state could be much higher.

Florida Compensation for Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims in Florida can be separated into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are costs that can be quantifiable, and these include:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses;
  • Lost income or wages;
  • Loss of future earning capacity; and
  • Cost of rehabilitation.

Non-economic damages refer to the costs of the injury or death that are not quantifiable but should still be compensated. These costs include:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Loss of consortium; and
  • Punitive damages.

Call a Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

The results of a hospital error or doctor’s mistake can be devastating, and medical malpractice issues are some of the most complex cases to deal with. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious medical error in the West Palm, Palm Beach, or surrounding areas, let Gary Roberts & Associates, P.A. help. Call the office at (561) 686-1800 or contact us online today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.

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