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Medical mistakes take many lives every year. It’s something professionals have known since at least 1999, when a report called “To Err Is Human” came out. It was published by the Institute of Medicine, and it claimed that around 98,000 deaths – annually – could be traced to medical mistakes.

This was such a big number at the time that many people felt like it couldn’t possibly be true.

However, more recent numbers show that it may actually be too low.

Medical Malpractice Claims Over 100,000 Lives Annually

For instance, the Office of the Inspector General for Health and Human Services reported in 2010 that poor care in medical institutions may play a role in the deaths of approximately 180,000 individuals who have Medicare year in and year out. That doesn’t mean the deaths were caused only by the mistakes, but they contributed. It also doesn’t take into account non-Medicare patients, so the totals could be far higher.

In 2013, the Journal of Patient Safety put out a report saying that preventable issues contributing to the eventual death of patients in medical facilities may be involved in at least 210,000 fatalities. They estimated the upper range at 440,000 people per year.

Medical Mistakes Could Be Responsible For 440,000 Deaths Each Year

As you can see, this situation only continues to look more dire. Of course, part of this may just be that people are doing better research and recognizing more mistakes than they have in the past, but it still paints a fairly bleak picture.

Have you lost a loved one in the hospital because of a preventable mistake? If you have, you should know that you may be able to seek compensation.

Source: Propublica, “How Many Die From Medical Mistakes in U.S. Hospitals?,” Marshall Allen, accessed April 12, 2017


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