Medical Negligence Information
Medical negligence occurs when a medical service provider fails to adequately provide the service that she or he is supposed to provide. For example, when a knee surgeon operates on the wrong knee, she has committed medical negligence. When any type of surgeon forgets to remove a surgery tool from within a patient’s body, he has committed medical negligence.
Medical negligence is a serious problem in the United States. For example, a Harvard University study found that in a certain year medical negligence resulted in 80,000 deaths and 234,000 injuries. A recent Institute of Medicine study found that on average 44,000 to 98,000 patients die in hospitals every year due to medical negligence. Moreover, medical negligence claims have remained relatively stable with slight decreases from 90,000 to around 85,000 every year from 1995 to 2000.
Such high numbers should not be very surprising considering the stressful hours that doctors work. Some work through the night, while others work 24-48 hours straight. Moreover, residents are made to work even more than regular doctors. Add the fact that some doctors may be working on multiple patients at once in a hectic environment, and the chances of medical negligence skyrocket.
But doctors are paid high fees to ensure that they perform their work correctly the first time because, as the numbers indicate, their actions make the difference between life and death.