Federal Government Releases Data on Medical Malpractice

By Peter DePaolis

Earlier this month, the federal government released data on how often patients suffer injuries from eight specific medical errors. A spokesperson from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said officials were not ready to discuss the data, however. The data comes on the heels on a report from the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that said 180,000 Medicaid recipients die each year from hospital mistakes. That figure is higher than the number of people killed every year in car accidents.

The medical errors included in the data are:

  • Air in the bloodstream
  • Falls
  • Bedsores
  • Infusions with the wrong blood type
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Blood infections
  • Uncontrolled blood-sugar levels
  • Foreign objects left in the body after surgery

Over the years, opinions have varied on whether public reporting of errors actually improves patient safety. The government’s decision to release the medical malpractice data shows that it believes public reporting does make a difference. The American Hospital Association (AHA) opposed the data release because it questioned the methods of calculating error rates. The AHA said the data could create an inaccurate and unreliable picture of hospital safety.

Medical negligence comes in many forms. Contact a qualified Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorney if you suffer injuries from a medical error. Kelly Fisher is an experienced Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyer at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis who is ready to help you.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.