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Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say medical errors should officially rank as the No. 3 cause of death in the United States. It reportedly claims more than 250,000 American lives annually, just behind heart disease and cancer, which each kill roughly 600,000 people a year.nurses

And yet, respiratory disease, which causes approximately 150,000 deaths per year has claimed the third spot ranking. The researchers sent a letter to the CDC to tack on medical mistakes to its yearly list of death causes. Researchers also called on local agencies to change the way medical error  cases are listed on death certificates. That way, the government could more easily keep track of the issue.

Medical mistakes run the gamut. They could be complications during surgery that aren’t recognized. They could be incorrect doses of medication. They could be overlooked doses of medication or the wrong medication. It could be an obvious diagnosis that a doctor simply failed to see. Continue reading

An appeals court in Florida has ruled just as there can be no cap on damages for emotional distress in wrongful death medical malpractice cases, neither is it constitutional to place one on other medical malpractice cases that do not end in death.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In reaching its decision in North Broward Hospital v. Kalitan, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals cited the 2014 precedent-setting Florida Supreme Court opinion in Estate of McCall v. U.S.

Twelve years ago, state legislators instituted the caps for non-economic damages in wrongful death cases by amending F.S. 766.118. However, this was done under the assumption we were in the midst of a “medical malpractice crisis” that threatened to send health insurance prices soaring if something wasn’t done soon. While not challenging whether the legislature had a reasonable basis on which to take this action at the time, the state supreme court in McCall ruled there was not presently a rational relationship between the cap on non-economic damages and alleviation of a medical malpractice crisis. The court further stated there was not sufficient evidence showing a direct correlation between damage caps and reduced malpractice premiums. (This is, of course, in spite of the chorus of health care lobbyists for years shouting about the need for tort reform.)

According to, approximately 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. That breaks down to approximately 12 percent. It’s estimated in 2014, nearly 233,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, while there will be approximately 63,000 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer diagnosed. breastcancerawareness

Advances in methods of detection and treatment over the last several decades have left us with the sense that the disease is no longer a death sentence. And it’s true in many cases. However, survival often depends on an early and accurate diagnosis. When this does not happen, prognosis dims significantly.

In some cases, that may not be anyone’s fault. However, failure to diagnose is a serious problem that can have serious and even fatal consequences for the patient. If proven in court, the victim and/or surviving family may be entitled to damages.

When doctors fail to provide an appropriate level of care to patients, whether in general practice or in the course of highly-specialized procedures, they can be sued for medical malpractice. laboratory

However, even non-doctors can face medical malpractice litigation when their actions result in adverse medical outcomes. A prime example is medical malpractice litigation against laboratory technicians contracted to provide diagnostic testing for hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices. These individuals are typically not doctors. They are scientists, usually with bachelor’s degrees. However, they too can be sued for damages in cases where there is a failure to identify or communicate evidence of abnormalities or other indicators of serious diseases, such as cancer.

Medical malpractice lawyers in West Palm Beach recognize that failures by lab technicians can have serious and potentially fatal consequences for patients. For example, a misinterpreted sample can result in a patient not receiving an accurate diagnosis of a serious disease that requires immediate treatment. Similarly, test results that are lost or not timely delivered could result in a delay of diagnosis that could have the same effect.

When it comes to emergency medical care, when split-second decisions can mean the difference between life-and-death, it’s imperative that hospitals establish strong practices and protocols to allow health care professionals to do their job effectively. ampuleandsyringe1

Unfortunately, Florida has been given a barely passing grade in terms of the overall state of its emergency care system, per the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Emergency Care Environment Report Card. Florida was given a C- overall, having dropped a few points from five years ago.

West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys understand that while the state has developed strong disaster preparedness plans and many hospitals have made strides in terms of patient safety, the state is plagued by a health care workforce shortage. There are also major financial barriers to care and we have a limited hospital capacity.

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