New York patients who are about to have medical treatment should have serious concerns about the prevalence of medical errors. Some studies have estimated that approximately 250,000 people die each year around the country because of a medical mistake.

Read more: Medical errors a leading cause of death

New York residents may know that former standout NFL linebacker Junior Seau's suicide has been linked to the degenerative and progressive brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The Hall of Famer suffered bouts of severe depression before taking his own life in 2012, and the San Diego Chargers team doctor who prescribed him the sleeping aid zolpidem, which is sold under the trade name Ambien, has been accused of gross negligence by the Medical Board of California.

Read more: Doctor who treated Junior Seau accused of negligence

A study that has been published in a medical journal has noted that in 2013, more than 250,000 people died from medical errors. Based on this estimate, medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States. Hospitals in New York and throughout the country may become safer for patients as insurance companies and medical providers are increasingly examining data about errors and making changes to their policies based on what they learn.

Read more: Looking at malpractice suits may reduce medical errors

New York residents sometimes perform online searches before choosing a physician, but the results provided by search engines like Google and Yahoo do not always tell the whole story. The medical community is rarely eager to share the details of malpractice lawsuits, and a desire to contain this kind of information leads to many such lawsuits being settled with the plaintiffs signing nondisclosure agreements.

Read more: Researching the medical malpractice records of doctors

A New York mother was awarded $50 million after she sued her obstetrician for injuries she suffered during a 2009 childbirth. In addition to suffering tissue lacerations, the woman was given an unnecessary episiotomy that did not heal correctly. The woman's digestive system was also damaged. There should not have been any complications with her second childbirth.

Read more: Mother sues obstetrician after damage in childbirth

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