NEW YORK – Almost everyone will become a victim of a medical mistake: that was the conclusion of a new report released by the Institute of Medicine this week. Sometimes these mistakes resulted in “devastating consequences” such as severe illness, injury and even death.
New York medical malpractice attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say medical errors are far too common and this new report further backs that statement.
“Some of these mistakes are unacceptable and they’re unfortunately very common in New York,” medical malpractice attorney Ross Cellino said. “What concerns us is that many of these mistakes go unrecognized.”
Researchers at the Institute of Medicine concluded that nearly everyone who has visited a doctor will get a wrong or delayed diagnosis at least once in their lives but many patients don’t connect the dots until it’s too late.
The new study, released on Tuesday, also determined ‘inattention’ and ‘neglect’ will probably become more common in hospitals and doctor’s offices as health care becomes increasingly complex. The report highlighted a number of factors that lead to medical errors, including communication and a culture among physicians that discourages disclosure of a mistake.
Recently, many state legislatures have seen an influx of health care advocates lobbying for a low cap on the amount of compensation a victim can receive as the result of a medical error. New York currently does not impose any damage caps but lobbyists have successfully limited the timeframe patients have to file a claim.
Cellino, a legal partner at the law offices of Cellino & Barnes, says patients are already up against a tight timeline when a mistake happens.
“Patients only have two and a half years from the date of the misdiagnosis to file a medical malpractice claim,” Cellino said. “The problem is, many patients may not realize the doctor’s mistake until that deadline has passed.”
According to researchers, ‘urgent change’ is needed but experts concluded there’s not a quick way to fix the issues that lead to malpractice. One of the biggest problems for researchers is that there is a lack of data. Researchers said they made recommendations to both hospitals and the federal government; asking health departments to improve monitoring of how doctors are diagnosing their patients.
New York medical malpractice lawyers suggest using a checklist every time you visit a doctor or a surgeon. Cellino says it also important to pay attention to your own health after a diagnosis (or misdiagnosis) so you and your family can file a malpractice claim before your time runs out.