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3 Common but Preventable Medical Errors in U.S. Hospitals

Hospital Hospitals are supposed to be places where you can feel safe. You go to the hospital because something is wrong and the people there are supposed to make you feel better. But many times, that is not the case. According to The Leapfrog Group, as many as 440,000 patients die each year because of hospital errors, injuries, infections, and accidents. Hospital errors are considered the third leading cause of death, right behind heart disease and cancer. With these statistics, it is not unlikely for you to develop complications while in the hospital. Here are three common medical errors and how you can do your part to prevent them.

1. Miscommunication Errors

Hospitals are busy places and when you are admitted into the hospital, you probably will not be taken care of by your normal doctor. You will have a team of on-call doctors, specialists, nurses and aids who will be responsible for your care. It is crucial for your team to communicate with each other, whether that be verbally or through the use of detailed charts and notes. It is easy to make an error when there is miscommunication between two people. You or a loved one should always know what is going on and what you plan of care is to be, that way you can always match up your information with the actions of your care team.

2. Falls, Slips or Trips

Most of the time when you are admitted into the hospital, you are evaluated for a fall risk. Many factors can affect your fall risk assessment, including age, physical condition, procedures that you have or will have done and medications you currently or will take. When you are assessed as a high fall risk, you will usually be given a wristband to wear that states this and it will be notated in your chart. This means that when you get up and move around, you should always have someone there to help you. Caretakers can help prevent these falls if you are high risk by moving items out of your path or giving you a walker or cane to help stabilize you.

3. Discharging Too Early

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as many as one in five hospital patients is readmitted within 30 days of being discharged from the hospital. Sometimes readmittance is just happenstance and the reasons for re-admittance are the fault of no one, but sometimes patients must be readmitted because they were discharged before they were ready to go home. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you fully understand your discharge instructions, including what you should avoid, things you need to do to take care of any surgery wounds and information about medications you may be taking.

Have You or a Loved One Experienced a Hospital Error? Contact Our San Jose Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Even though hospitals should be one of the safest places you can be, they are often not. Your medical care team has a responsibility to make sure that precautions are being made to protect against mistakes that are most definitely preventable. If you or a loved one has experienced a medical error while in the hospital, you need the help of a Santa Clara County hospital malpractice lawyer. The attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. understand that medical mistakes can severely and negatively impact your health, which is why they are committed to helping you get the compensation that you deserve. Call the office today at 408-289-1417 to schedule a consultation.

Client Reviews
My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.