Medical Mistakes are Still Too Common in Virginia, Nationwide

A true medical mistake, one that could not have been prevented--no matter what--is very rare. Most of the time our Virginia Beach medical malpractice attorneys speak with people who have been seriously hurt or have lost a loved one because of a very preventable mistake.

Unfortunately, those seeking compensation at our Virginia Beach medical malpractice law firm are not the only people who have suffered losses at the hands of a doctor or nurse. Each year, the number of people who die from a preventable mistake in a hospital is equal to four jumbo jets crashing each week.

If each week, four airplanes full of people crashed, the outcry would be enormous. So why are doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel still making so many mistakes?

Motivating Hospitals to Reduce Number of Medical Mistakes
While the current number of medical mistakes being committed in Virginia and across the country is exceedingly high, there are some programs that have helped make hospitals more accountable for their actions and have thereby reduced the rate of hospital mistakes being made. Some of the more successful programs include:

  • Many hospitals must now report their rate of infection. In 29 states the infection rates for all hospitals must be released to the public. In addition, 28 states require the release of information regarding some medical mistakes.
  • Medicare now restricts payments to hospitals where a patient was affected by one of 10 specific hospital-acquired conditions. Basically, if the hospital made the patient sick, Medicare will not pay them for the treatment of this illness or injury.
  • Medicare will give money to hospitals that score high on a set of specific patient safety standards.
  • In Michigan, a program was launched that aimed to reduce the number of bloodstream infections caused by the insertion of a catheter in a large vein near the heart. Because of this program, an estimated 1,500 lives were saved during an 18 month period.

Hospitals Not Perfect Yet

Our Norfolk, VA medical mistake lawyers are glad to hear that some improvements are being made in patient safety, but we have a long way to go. Hopefully, there will come a time when medical mistakes no longer injure and kill millions of people each year.

Until then, if you have been hurt or made ill because of a medical mistake, or you have lost a loved one because of doctor or hospital error, call 757.625.1214 to speak with an attorney who is ready to protect your rights; get you the compensation you deserve.