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Causes, frequency and dangers of medical negligence, part II

Medical care and treatment is meant to assuage concerns and help a patient with problems. It is an unfortunate reality that a negligent doctor can make a mistake causing injury, failing to provide proper treatment and even leading to the unnecessary loss of a loved one. Research has focused on these issues across the country, understanding them and preventing them. People in Illinois need to be cognizant of them in the event that they affect them and family members. Part I of this blog discussed some of the recorded errors, studies and other issues.

Some medical professionals are taking the step of using checklists to try to stop certain errors from being made. These errors can happen to a patient when medications are not recorded and procedures are not paid attention to. In 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) discovered that using checklists might not be as effective as it was presumed to be. One particular hospital association in Michigan did not show that there was an improvement in outcomes in their 14 hospitals.

Medical mistakes have attracted the attention of state agencies. In Massachusetts, a Harvard study discovered that 25 percent of those in the state had experienced a medical mistake in the previous five years. Examples include improper treatment, wrong surgery or a wrong test happened in 38 percent who stated they were subject to a medical mistake. Also, 32 percent said they received the wrong medication. In Indiana, there was a spike in medical errors adding up to 114 adverse events that were considered preventable in 2014. In Washington there were 483 such mistakes.

A patient who has been harmed by a negligent doctor, or a family who has been subjected to the loss of a loved one from a medical error, might not even be aware that it happened. An investigation is imperative when trying to determine how the incident occurred. Given the costs that can accompany a person who was harmed in a medical mistake, having legal help to consider a medical malpractice lawsuit is wise. Speaking to an attorney experienced in recognizing a surgical error, misdiagnosis or other mistake can help in pursuing a case to be compensated.

Source: beckerasc.com, "10 things to know about medical errors," Anuja Vaidya, Accessed on Feb. 15, 2016

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