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The Top Five Most Common but Avoidable Medical Mistakes

Medical MistakesThe term medical malpractice can bring a hospital or medical professional to their knees as with every passing day the health care profession strives to extinguish instances of medical malpractice, wrongful death or personal injury cases.

According to a recent CNN Health report, it is estimated that medical errors are responsible for over 250,000 deaths per year. Correspondents John Bonifield and Elizabeth Cohen report that, although medical mistakes are occurring every day, there are strategies and practices available to ensure health care professionals are delivering safe and exemplary medical care.

The instances of medical malpractice or the professional negligence by a health care professional or provider in which substandard treatment was administered resulting in harm, injury or death of the patient may be considered the third leading cause of death in the country.

Bonifield and Cohen turned to Dr. Peter Pronovost, an anesthesiologist and critical care physician at the renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital for the top instances of common but avoidable medical mistakes.

Treating the Wrong Patient

Often, a patient may receive treatment meant for another patient as the health care staff may have failed to verify a patient’s identity or confused the patient with another with a similar name. This type of medical mistake can be avoided by ensuring the staff verifies the patient’s full name, date of birth or hospital recorded barcode during each and every treatment interaction.

Leaving a Medical Momento

During surgery, it has been recorded that the operating room team has forgotten to count or identify all medical equipment, and an instrument may have mistakenly been left inside the patient. It is suggested that if a patient is suffering from fever or swelling following surgery, this possibility is not as far-fetched as one may believe.

Hide and Seek

Patients have been known to wander, whether due to hospital psychosis or dementia. As such, patients may become trapped, and some have even died due to hypothermia or dehydration. To better track patients, it is suggested that a GPS tracking bracelet be provided.

To Tell the Truth

Within a billion dollar falsified documents industry, there has been over a million fake medical degrees dispersed. Most often, these fakes are proficient con artists, but many offer medical treatments that further injure the patient. It is highly advisable to confirm a physician’s credentials before consenting to treatment.

Lost in the Emergency Room

As per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are 136.3 million visits to emergency rooms per year, which often leads to the ER waiting game. With the injured and ill in overcrowded hospitals vying for available beds, patients tend to become sicker. To avoid adding new additional aches and pains to a patient’s primary complaint, physicians and staff should advise those planning an ER visit to alert their primary physician they are on their way and to contact the ER personally.

Your health is everything. As a patient, you trust your care to the professionals, but no doctor, nurse or other health care professional is exempt from human error. If you or a loved one believes you may be a victim of medical malpractice or wrongful death due to negligence or substandard health care treatment, contact the skilled San Jose medical malpractice attorneys of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. Our legal team possesses the skills, experience, and resources to effectively handle your case and to obtain the best possible results.

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