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Are medical errors the third leading cause of death? New study says yes.

A new study published Johns Hopkins Medicine recently found that medical errors contribute to so many fatalities in the United States that it should rank as the third-leading cause of death in the country. The researchers said the problem is being kept from the public, partially due to how deaths are reported and tracked.

The authors of the study are urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add medical errors to the list of top causes of death. They are also requesting changes to death certificates to help keep track of fatal medical mistakes.

Across the country, hospital alarms are, well, alarming

Where patient safety is concerned, more rather than less data trumps, right?

And in the sphere of hospital alarms, specifically, it must assuredly be the case that more beeping and chiming to alert nurses and other staff members of patient-related needs and concerns is preferable than ongoing silence, which quite literally mutes dangerous conditions.

Truly chilling implications: when hospitals get hacked

When readers hear the words "restoring normal operations," they might reasonably think of something like getting the lights back on at the ballpark following a power outage. Getting back to normal might also apply to something like getting the planes back in the air and landing routinely once an oil spill on a runway has been cleaned off, or resuming full speed at a factory following a work stoppage.

Of course, we are now firmly embarked on the 21st century, where many things in life have changed, including, centrally, the implications posed by continuously evolving technological tools and standards.

The list is long: malpractice insurer details doctors' errors

It is reasonable to assume that a medical malpractice insurance provider knows a thing or two about the underlying causes that drive litigation claims filed by injured patients and their families.

Put another way: An insurer that seeks to protect doctors and other medical professionals against liability for botched outcomes grounded in substandard care delivery commands a detailed understanding of why victims harmed by medical negligence file legal claims.

A surgical "never event" underscores need for victim assistance

In doing so, they frequently argue that malpractice claims are frivolous and unduly pricey.

In fact, such claims are often and simply only about justice, as is clearly underscored by a recent story involving a blatant birth injury-related error committed by a doctor at one hospital.

Here's what happened, pure and simple. Medical staff members confused one newborn for another, taking a perfectly healthy baby and subjecting it to a tongue-cutting procedure aimed at eradicating eating and future speech problems.

Of course, the child had no such issues.

Now perhaps the infant does.

In medical parlance, such an egregious and unthinkable mistake is called a "never event," and for obvious reasons.

Absent flat-out negligence committed by a medical professional or team, such an outcome would never have happened.

We're talking things like sponges left inside surgical patients, wrong-site surgery and, as here, a completely inappropriate procedure performed on an innocent victim.

Such lapses in the standard of care owed patients demand action and remedial fixes to ensure that they never happen again.

That is what a medical malpractice filing is all about, coupled with its deterrent effect on future shoddy practices and its ability to provide some degree of help that is badly needed by a malpractice victim and his or her family.

Questions or concerns regarding substandard medical care delivery can be addressed to a proven plaintiffs' medical malpractice attorney.

Resting in a hospital? Now there's a concept.

Have you ever been a patient in an Arizona hospital?

If so, do you have memories of softly drifting into a deep and relaxing sleep that lasted for hours each night, with hospital staff members doing everything they could to dampen noise levels and surrounding distractions?

Serial malpractice offenders: scary when the subject is physicians

A lead-in to today's blog post might be termed "Reasonable assumptions gone awry." The facts that emerge from a recent article in an esteemed medical journal reveal with chilling force how something that should be a reality in the medical profession is far from uniformly being the case.

Here's a question posed to readers across Arizona and elsewhere: Do you believe that doctors generally possess a similar amount of acumen and skill as they examine, refer, treat and sometimes operate on patients?

Erb's palsy: causes, symptoms and dealing with the aftermath

We provided some basic information regarding Erb's palsy in a post from 2014, noting in our October 27 entry of that year that an affected infant's parents "may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim."

We revisit the topic in today's post to both reiterate its seriousness and to remind a birth injury victim's family that Erb's palsy can often result from a medical negligence act or omission on the part of an obstetrician or other member of a delivery team.

Update on superbug infections: materially understated

Many of our readers across Maricopa County and Arizona likely remember with crystal clarity -- and perhaps unchecked horror -- news that began surfacing in 2012 regarding the outbreak in some hospitals in the United States and abroad of a so-called "superbug."

That bacteria -- which included the super-resistant strain known widely by its shorthand designation of CRE -- was traced to tainted medical scopes known as duodenoscopes, which are often used in the diagnosis and treatment of digestive-tract disorders.

A roll call of unflattering numbers relating to VA medical care

Regardless of how the following numbers are massaged, they certainly don't look good for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This bulleted summary of things gone wrong for the VA will certainly cause many of our readers across Arizona and elsewhere to duly reflect upon the sheer dimensions of substandard medical care that is unquestionably being administered to high numbers of patients at select VA facilities across the country.

We invite readers to consider the following data, as reported in a recent article spotlighting the broad scope of medical malpractice incidents at the VA:

*Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization