Study highlights prevalence of medical negligence

Date: Jan 10, 2013

In Australia, health service providers have a duty to provide an acceptable standard of treatment to their patients.

If medical personnel fail to uphold that standard, and you are injured as a result, a medical negligence claim may be possible.

Compensation lawyers can advise you of your prospects of success if this has happened to you.

You may be wondering how often this sort of thing happens.

A recent study to quantify the occurrence of medical ‘never ever’ events – things which all agree should never happen during surgery – seems to have answered that question.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported last month that an estimated 4,044 surgical ‘never ever’ events occur in the United States every year.

It is estimated that a foreign object is left inside a patient’s body after surgery 39 times a week, patients receive the wrong procedure 20 times a week, and a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body 20 times a week.

Study leader Marty Makary says that unlike infections or other consequences of surgery, the events described were completely preventable.

“This study highlights that we are nowhere near where we should be and there’s a lot of work to be done,” said Mr Makary in a statement.

The study found that instances of medical negligence happened most often among patients aged between 40 and 49.

Researchers based their study on data already published which details events over the past 20 years which resulted in a malpractice claim.

Mr Makary says that, if anything, the study’s estimates are low, as items left behind after surgical procedures aren’t always found.

These ‘never ever’ events aren’t restricted to the US – in fact they can happen anywhere in the world.

Here in Australia, if you believe health care professionals have been negligent in their treatment of you, and you have been injured as a result, you may be able to make a claim to gain compensation for your injury.

Medical negligence lawyers can examine your circumstances, and if your claim of medical negligence is successful, you may be entitled to several forms of compensation.

That’s because injuries suffered as a result of medical malpractice can have many consequences.

Your ability to work may be affected, resulting in a loss of income. Compensation can be claimed for both loss of wages and loss of superannuation in some cases.

You might also be left needing professional care. A successful medical negligence claim may entitle you to reimbursement for these costs.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.