Medical errors often go unreported

Chicago residents turn to medical professionals to help solve their medical problems. People expect the doctors will have the answers to their medical ailments and be able to return them to good health. However, sometimes doctors are unable to fix all medical issues. While doctors can help to make people more comfortable, they cannot always prevent all deaths.

When someone dies during medical treatment most people assume that the death occurred because of the illness or injury. But, what if this is not the case?

According to some researchers, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. However, many of these deaths go unreported or under reported because of medical coding issues. According to these researchers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention operate on a system of death codes created more than 100 years ago. These codes do not allow doctors or medical facilities to acknowledge that a medical error had a role in causing someone’s death.

Without using these codes to identify when an error has had a role in the person’s death, it can be difficult to see exactly how many times a medical error leads to death. The same researchers estimate that around 250,000 people in the United States are killed each year because of a medical error. Without proper reporting, it can be difficult to prevent deaths by the same cause in the future.

These researchers believe that the CDC should allow an update to these medical death codes. By updating the codes, they can more accurately reflect a person’s cause of death.

A wrongful death at the hands of a doctor can be extremely hard for families in Illinois to deal with. However, they should understand they have legal rights. These rights can include the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent doctor. In this case, families may be entitled to compensation.