Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Hospital Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S., Says Study

Published on Oct 14, 2013 at 8:01 am in Medical Malpractice.

A new study suggests that U.S. hospitals have a serious problem with medical staff making serious and preventable errors.

This fall, an article in The Journal of Patient Safety estimated that “the true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated at more than 400,000 per year.”

This new study makes a strong case that previous estimates of this problem were mistakenly low. An earlier study had pegged the number at 98,000, but the new research presents compelling evidence that the prior study used inaccurate research methods.

The new study initially found that preventable errors contributed to the deaths of 210,000 hospital patients annually. They then determined that the real number actually doubles if you factor in errors where treatment should’ve been provided but wasn’t.

The new number of about 400,000 per year puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer.

While the American Hospital Association suggests that the earlier estimate of 98,000 is still accurate, independent patient safety researchers have concluded that the new study’s methods were credible.

What Can You Do?

The Journal of Patient Safety article suggests that hospitals and medical staff need to fully engage patients and their advocates during hospital care, and make efforts to seek the patients’ input in identifying harms. It also suggests that hospitals adopt policies that encourage transparency where harm does occur, to allow correction of the root causes.

Patients and their advocates would be wise to ask questions, and be persistent in getting your needs addressed.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

Multi-Vehicle Accidents: Who Pays for Chain Reaction Crashes?

You’re driving down the road on your way to work in heavy traffic. Everything seems standard for your morning commute until you’re sideswiped by a passing vehicle and subsequently rear-ended by the car behind you when you brake. Emergency responders arrive at the scene, and you’re treated for your injuries and told to follow up […]

Read More

5 Questions to Ask During a Free Case Consultation

If you’ve been injured in an accident and are looking to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, you may not know where to turn. Fortunately, personal injury lawyers can help accident victims file a strong claim that proves a monetary award is owed.

Read More

How to Stay Safe Around Pools This Summer

As we’re now just past the Fourth of July holiday weekend, summer is in full swing. With the 2021 heatwave affecting most of the continental U.S., pool owners all around the country are taking full advantage of their backyard oases to beat the heat. Those without pools looking to take a dip in the water […]

Read More