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Medical malpractice statistics

Some Ohio residents may have the belief that people who file medical malpractice lawsuits do so with the aim of simply trying to make substantial sums of money. Statistics do not demonstrate this, however.

Of those who do file lawsuits, very few are uninsured, on Medicaid or poor, according to a study conducted in New York covering 51 different hospitals. The Institute of Medicine reports that an average of 98,000 people die every year because of medical malpractice. Of people who are victims of preventable medical negligence, only one in eight actually proceed with litigation. It is estimated that the dollars that are spent each year on defending malpractice suits and paying out claims amount to far less than 1 percent of total health care costs.

Unfortunately, preventable medical errors are the third highest cause of deaths in the U.S. Forty percent of physicians report that they believe caring for too many patients leads to more medical mistakes. Of the different types of injuries, 34 percent in inpatient settings resulted from surgical mistakes while 46 percent of those in outpatient settings resulted from diagnostic errors.

The picture painted by the statistics about medical malpractice in the United States is troubling. This type of negligence is preventable, but it still continues to be a major problem within the health care industry. These types of mistakes can range from a surgical procedure being performed on the wrong limb to a sponge or other piece of equipment being left inside of a patient's body after surgery. Those who have been harmed in such a manner may want to meet with an attorney in order to find out what legal remedies they may have.

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