National Survey Reveals 21% of Americans Have Personally Experienced a Medical Error

The IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago recently released the results of a survey on medical errors, with a nationally-representative sample of over 2,500 American adults.

Distressingly, 21% of their participants reported having personally experienced a medical error, and 31% had been involved in the care of a family member or friend who experienced a medical error.

Many of these errors caused long-term harm to physical and emotional health, personal relationships, and financial well-being. The errors often occurred in outpatient care, not just hospitals. The most common types of errors were misdiagnoses and poor communication between the healthcare providers and patients.

Almost 50% of the people who said they had experienced an error also reported having informed medical staff (at the facility where the error occurred) of the problem. As Linda K. Kenney, president of the nonprofit organization Medically Induced Trauma Support Services, noted, “The fact that many people who experienced an error spoke up about it confirms that patients and families are vital to informing health care organizations about harm and how to prevent it in the future.”

Speaking up is always a good start. However, in cases where medical errors lead to serious, lasting damage, many people also consider pursuing a medical malpractice case. This can help not only with ensuring accountability and preventing future harm, but also with the financial burden that can be associated with a long-term illness or disability.

Legal Help for Birth Injuries

Here at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers, we specialize in birth injuries stemming from medical malpractice. If your child or loved one was harmed in utero, during labor or delivery, or shortly after birth, and now has a condition such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) or cerebral palsy, we encourage you to reach out to us for a free legal consultation today. We can assess whether you have a potential case, and help you determine your legal options. You pay nothing until we win.

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