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Recognizing a hospital error can be a key to being compensated

Pennsylvania residents who need to have medical treatment are placing their trust in their doctor and the facility. It is unfortunate that there are instances when that trust is misplaced and there is a mistake. While many errors do not cause damage to the patient, there are others that can lead to a worsening of the condition, injury and death. The Centers for Disease Control states that as many as a quarter of a million people die due to medical errors annually. Medical facilities have certain steps they are taking to try and reduce this number. It is important for patients to be aware of who is most at risk and what the dangers are to keep an eye on potential mistakes that might have injured or killed a loved one.

Hospitals are advised to keep an eye on those who are most vulnerable. Some groups are at higher risk than others. Patients who are isolated, those who do not speak English, people who are dealing with chronic diseases, and those taking multiple medications are in greater jeopardy. This is because there are more ways in which a mistake can be made. Another problem is when injectable medications are being prepared. It was found that nearly one out of ten were not prepared correctly.

It might seem to be a basic strategy for medical professionals to communicate with one another and keep track of care given to a patient, but this also found wanting. There is often a separation between pharmacists and doctors. While more than 80 percent of errors in dispensing medications in hospitals are found out before they can do any damage, that still leaves a double-digit percentage that are not caught. This can lead to patient injury and death. Patients are frequently left out of the process of medical care. Medical professionals should not rely on patients and family members alone, but listening to them can help to avoid a severe error.

There are so many different issues that can come up in a hospital setting. People who have been harmed or lost a loved one need to understand how to investigate these cases to consider a legal filing. Discussing the matter with an attorney who is experienced in misdiagnosis, surgery error, medication error and more can help.

Source: Managed Healthcare Executive, "Four ways to reduce dangerous medical errors at your hospital," Kenneth Maxik, Jan. 17, 2017

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