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Common medical errors patients should watch for

Pennsylvania residents trust in the quality and effectiveness of their medical care every day. This is a basic right that all patients should be able to rely on. Sadly, medical errors whether they be surgical mistakes, medication errors, missed diagnoses or something else also happen every day, compromising the faith that the public has in the healthcare system.

A recent news report details some of the findings of some research by an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Hospital that has some shocking insight into the world of medical mistakes, highlighting the eight most common errors that the public may not be aware of. One of the primary problems it identifies is related to prescription medication errors. That could be a dosage mistake or the wrong drug altogether. Either way, the potential result could be serious injury or even death for a patient. The research indicates that such mistakes are hidden from patients in approximately 98 percent of cases.

The article advocates for greater patient involvement and activism including urging patients to check their charts or have their doctors recite the list of medications they are supposed to take as a way to verify the accuracy of information. Such simple actions can help avert some disastrous results.

Patient information and participation is helpful but the need for vigilance in proper healthcare is appropriate as well. If you suspect that you have been affected by a medical error, you could benefit from a consultation with an attorney to fully understand your rights.

Source: Yahoo! Health, “Protect Yourself: 8 Common Mistakes Made by Hospital Staffs,” Cindy Kuzma, October 7, 2013

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