There’s More Death from Medical Malpractice than Ebola in a Week!

More-Death-Medical-Malpractice-than-EbolaIt’s a true statistic! Learn the reality of medical malpractice and preventable deaths in the United States.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine claimed about 98,000 Americans died annually from preventable medical errors.

Doesn’t that number sound absolutely astounding?

But now, the Journal of Patient Safety released a new study in 2013 that estimated this number at around 440,000!

Divide that number by 52 weeks in a year, and you get an amazing 8,461 weekly American deaths due to preventable medical errors. That makes medical malpractice one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.

As of November 25th, a total of around 20 people in the US and Europe have been treated for Ebola symptoms. 2 of those 20 were Americans that have died, while  3 of the 20 were Europeans.

Now, we don’t want to discredit the loss of those who have passed away and the family members they leave behind. It’s sad when anyone dies much younger than they should, especially given all our modern medical treatments.

But it does put these problems in perspective.

Why Do So Many Americans Die from Medical Malpractice?

It’s tough to sort out what’s really going on with any wide-scale problem like medical malpractice. In reality, there’s a number of possible reasons.

One theory, presented by the New York Times, is that having too much treatment actually causes more medical errors. For example, they note that since 1996, the number of MRIs ordered has increased by 4 times, while the percentage of doctor visits leading to the prescription of at least 5 drugs has tripled.

Some of these are necessary. But many are not. One survey they cited had orthopedic surgeons saying 24% of the tests they ordered were not medically necessary. They did these tests to protect themselves from lawsuits.

Another cause is the inequality of care you can get at different hospitals. For example, an article at says if patients treated in the bottom 10th percentile of hospitals from 2000 – 2002 instead got treatment at the best hospitals, about 4,000 lives would have been saved.

In addition, Life Extension Magazine proposes at least some of these preventable deaths are due to the fact that medical systems don’t consider these factors when analyzing human health:

  • Stress and its negative effects
  • Not enough exercise
  • Excessive caloric intake
  • Highly processed foods grown in chemically damaged soil
  • Exposure to thousands of different environmental toxins

What’s the Truth About Why So Many Die From Medical Malpractice?

We don’t know, but a sensible answer is that it’s a combination of all the factors discussed and perhaps some yet undiscovered.

In the meantime, if you think you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in Texas (only 1 in 8 medical malpractice victims file lawsuits), contact a Dallas personal injury lawyer to discuss the facts of your situation today.