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Understanding the risks of medical errors

Most Pennsylvania residents have likely been able to go their whole lives without being affected by a medical error or even knowing anyone who was. However, that does not negate the reality of how many other people are impacted by such actions. Medication errors, birth injuries, failures to diagnose, surgical errors and more can be life threatening to victims and tragic for family members.

The latest information released by the Journal of Patient Safety and the Center for Disease Control indicates that medical errors actually represent the third-leading cause of deaths in the United States. As many as 440,000 people annually are reported to die at the hands of those supposed to preserve their lives. A current media story that referenced this rate also shared additional information that should make patients take note.

For patients that must undergo surgery, July is apparently the worst—or most dangerous—time of the year to do so. This is because of the influx of newly graduated surgeons ready to begin their practice with limited experience. Improper use of medical equipment and surgical equipment left inside a patient’s body are just two types of common surgical errors. These actions can cause serious injury or a worsened condition to those involved.

Any person who believes that a surgeon mistake has taken place could benefit from learning more about the law and the options for compensation. Talking with a medical malpractice attorney is one good way to get the necessary information with which to make choices about how to address these potentially devastating situations.

Source: MySuburbanLife.com, “Seeing It Through: The alarming rate of deaths by medical errors must be reduced,” John S. Matijevich, April 10, 2014

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