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Things to know about medical errors

Most Pittsburgh residents will spend time in the doctor's office this year. Whether for a sickness or a routine exam, going to the doctor is an important appointment that people should make. Although most procedures go as planned, medical errors such as the failure to diagnose a condition do occur.

There are some interesting things patients may want to know about medical errors. Each year up to 400,000 Americans are the victim of a medical error. There are also around 4,000 surgical never-events that occur each year. These include wrong-site surgery and surgical equipment left inside a patient. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The most common preventable medical errors include medication errors, too many blood transfusions, too much oxygen for premature babies and infections. And finally, hospitals are the main site where the most serious events occur which result in death or serious injury.

A medical error can affect a life forever. Although some errors are not serious, many can cause death, a worsened condition or a lifetime medical condition. If a patient was affected by a serious medical mistake they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review the medical reports, consult with medical experts and determine what happened to cause the injury. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Medical errors are a serious issue in the United States. It is important to hold medical professionals accountable for their errors so that they don't harm anyone else.

Source: beckersasc.com, "10 things to know about medical errors," Anuja Vaidya, Jan. 29, 2016

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