Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Complexity of Health Care System Contributes to Patient Deaths from Preventable Medical Errors

Complexity of Health Care System Contributes to Patient Deaths from Preventable Medical Errors

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports that nearly 250,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical mistakes in hospitals and other health care facilities — mistakes that are entirely preventable. Medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer. In “The Real Cause of Deadly Medical Errors,” Ashish Jha outlines for Scientific American exactly what constitutes a medical error how this systemic failure results in wholly unnecessary suffering for patients.

From hospital-acquired infections to medication errors and drug overdoses to removing the wrong organ, medical errors come at the expense of the patient. Jha notes that “Healthcare today is about managing complexity and the system isn’t performing well. The problem is not about individual sloppiness, it is about system sloppiness.”

As the medical field becomes increasingly more complex, so has the number of patient deaths due to medical errors. People are dying from the care they receive in health clinics, as opposed to the diseases themselves.

Jha further notes, “Even when the errors are more obvious, the financial consequences to institutions are small. And until we fundamentally shift the incentive structure of the system so that the most careful and safe systems get rewarded handsomely (and the poor performers get punished), none of the sloppiness goes away.”

Read Jha’s full article in Scientific American.

Medical Negligence Law & Your Rights

The law of most states provides persons who have been seriously injured as the result of the negligence of another with several legal claims. The injured person may file a lawsuit seeking compensation for his or her pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost past and future wages and punitive damages.

In the case of a patient’s death due to the negligence or medical malpractice, surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the healthcare provider.

Contact Lieff Cabraser

A catastrophic injury or the loss of a loved one is a horrific tragedy, and we understand that it can be overwhelming, especially when the injury or death may have been caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another.

Lieff Cabraser attorneys are experienced in handling personal injury cases nationwide. We are committed to providing the finest legal representation possible. We will review your medical malpractice case promptly, free of charge and in strict confidence.

Learn more about Hospital Errors and Patient Rights here.