This seems like an easy answer – at first blush. More than one hundred and fifty million (150,000,000) Americans go to work every day, so jobsite accidents seem like a reasonable answer to this question. However, it’s not even close. It may be surprising to some that, anesthesia and medication related errors dwarf the number of jobsite deaths every year in the United States. https://www.osha.gov/data/work
There are all different types of medical malpractice that lead to death. Everything from incorrect surgeries, equipment failure, surgical mishaps, failure to take in account prior patient histories, delays in diagnosis, failures in communication between physicians and staff and delays in timely treatment for properly diagnosed medical conditions. Globally, only about thirty percent (30%) of all deaths from medical errors are solely attributable to medication mix-ups and errors, whether the treatment is during a hospitalization, following induction of anesthesia or on an outpatient basis. Johns Hopkins suggests medical errors now third leading cause of death in the U.S. However, that number is approximately four (4) to five (5) times more than the number of worksite deaths. According to OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 1998 and 1999, respectively, approximately six thousand (6,000) Americans died each year from workplace injuries. See, Bureau of Labor Statistics. National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 1998. U.S. Department of Labor: Washington, D.C. August 1999. The take away: Do what you can to understand and to verify the safety of any medication plan or prescription – it just may save a life.
A Michigan native who graduated from both Michigan State University and Cooley Law School, Mr. Weidenfeller has limited his practice of law to representing individuals who have been permanently injured and families who have lost a loved one as the result of medical errors for more than 20 years. In that time, he has been featured on the cover of Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly and has spoken to many and varied professional groups about trial practice and effective communication.