Surgical Errors Cost Billions of Dollars Every Year

Library Articles | October 17, 2017

If this article sounds similar to a recent experience that you or a loved one have suffered from, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call 859-578-4444 to schedule a free consultation!

When you prepare to go in for surgery, the last thing you are probably thinking about is the risk of a surgical error.  However, mistakes are sometimes made during surgery, such as wrong site surgery, objects left during the procedure and other types of surgical errors.  These medical mistakes cost close to $1.5 billion annually in the United States.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), it is estimated that preventable medical errors that happen during or after surgery may cost employers as much as $1.5 billion a year.  A study was conducted that discovered that insurance companies paid an additional 52 percent more and an additional 48 percent more for patients who suffered acute respiratory failure or infections after the procedure, compared with patients who did not experience either complication.

Researchers reviewed a nationwide sample of more than 161,000 patients, ages 16 to 64, in employer based health plans who had surgery some time between 2001 and 2002.  The study found that insurers were paying more for patients who suffered from the following medical errors:

  • Pressure ulcers and hip fractures from medical mistakes by nursing care.
  • Medical errors that resulted in kidney failure or blood sugar problems.
  • Blood clots, vascular problems and other pulmonary complications associated with medical mistakes.
  • Medical errors that caused wound opening.

Even more alarming than the amount of money spent on doctor errors is the amount of deaths that could have been prevented.  Researchers found that 1 out of every 10 patients who died within 90 days of surgery did so because of a preventable medical error.  It was also discovered that one third of the deaths happened after the initial hospital discharge.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by Ohio or Kentucky medical malpractice you may be entitled to financial compensation.  Contact a Louisville medical malpractice attorney today at the Law Office of Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery at (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297 for a free legal consultation.  We handle malpractice cases in Ohio and Kentucky.

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