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Surprising Medical Malpractice Statistics

A recent survey published about medical malpractice revealed several interesting – and surprising – statistics. First, while many people are led to believe that our justice system is full of medical malpractice claims, in reality very few patients file lawsuits based on medical negligence. In fact, less than 1% of all new civil lawsuits are medical malpractice cases.

Further, where these cases are successful, the payout amount – whether high or low – does not translate into less expensive care. Proponents of caps such as in California often argue that the when a state enacts a cap the costs, for example, of diagnostic imaging (like MRI's) drops. However, this is simply not true. Rather, imaging costs in California are among the highest. Similarly, Florida and Nevada, which also have caps on non-economic damages, have high imaging costs.

When medical malpractice does occur – it frequently is the result of wrong site surgery. In fact, each year more the 500 surgeries are performed on the wrong body part and more than 5000 surgical items are unintentionally left in patients' bodies. Approximately 46-65% of adverse events in hospitals are related to surgery.

Other frightening statistics include:

· On any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. patients has at least one infection contracted during the course of their hospital care.

· Despite a slew of news accounts about patients being set on fire in operating rooms across the country, adoption of precautionary measures has been slow.

· As unsafe as are civilian hospitals, military hospitals are worse.

For more information or if you have questions about medical malpractice, please contact the dedicated Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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