“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” This quote was engraved on an Irish tombstone and families who have lost a loved one from medical malpractice can understand its significance. Deaths caused by medical malpractice are all the more heartbreaking for families because they were preventable. It is the family’s love for the victim that drives them to file a medical malpractice wrongful death case in order to seek justice.
How Many People Die Each Year From Medical Malpractice?
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer. According to a newly released study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, as many as 440,000 Americans die each and every year as a result of preventable medical errors. As Virginia (VA) medical malpractice lawyers we see the impact medical malpractice has on everyday people.
What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. Doctors can be held responsible for the injuries their patients suffer from due to either a misdiagnosis of a condition or a failure to diagnose a condition in a timely fashion. In fact, as many as 160,000 patients are permanently injured or die each and every year because of misdiagnosis.
Defective products. Sometimes it is not the doctor, anesthesiologist, or hospital that is at fault for your medical injury or wrongful death case. Somewhat often, the medical products used during your stay at the hospital are responsible and the manufacturers of the product have been negligent.
Anesthesia errors. Responsible for putting you under general anesthesia before your operation, the anesthesiologist must be alert, attentive, properly trained, and careful. Many anesthesia mistakes lead to a lack of oxygen in the brain that can result in brain damage. Some estimates put forth that one person in every 1,000 will suffer a complication due to an anesthesia error.
Surgical errors. Surgical errors may be the easiest to spot when it comes to medical malpractice. If the surgery is done incorrectly, the doctor makes mistakes, or there are complications due to the doctor's negligent care. These errors can led to pain and suffering, long-term or permanent disability, and death.
Real Cases of Death from Medical Malpractice in Virginia
One case involved a 4-year-old girl from Scottsville, Virginia (VA). She was admitted to the University of Virginia Health Services Foundation to have a kidney removed. While recuperating from the surgery in the hospital, urine began leaking into her abdomen from the re-attachment. This led to her belly swelling with fluid hindering her ability to breathe. Despite numerous calls to the surgical team from a nurse, the young child was left to suffer and struggled for her life for approximately 16 hours after the breathing problems were first noticed. As a result, she died from cardiac arrest
This is just one of hundreds of horrible and preventable deaths due to medical malpractice in Virginia.
What Should You Do if Your Family Member Died Because of Medical Malpractice?
Our Virginia medical malpractice law firm has handled cases involving the negligence of physicians, hospitals, and other health care facilities and providers. We post real case results on our website for families to see our success in finding justice for medical malpractice victims. Knowledge is power and we want families to have all the information they need to make informed choices. This is why we have created two free guides that answer questions about Virginia (VA) medical malpractice cases.