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Astounding death toll from medical mistakes

It has long been a challenge to collect accurate data when it comes to medical mistakes. Hospitals are reluctant to admit responsibility for any number of reasons. When hospitals hide information concerning fatal errors, they help perpetuate them. It is impossible to know where to direct safety efforts when the dangers are all hidden.

Leapfrog Group is one of the organizations working to help patients by shining a light on the the problems in American hospitals. It assigns the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade and raises awareness about medical errors. According to Leapfrog, medical errors are responsible for around 1,000 patient fatalities every day.

Institutional errors

Many of the errors committed by doctors and nurses are at least partly the fault of hospitals and their safety policies. Some common problems at the hospital level include:

  • Understaffing - When there are not enough doctors and nurses to maintain acceptable levels of care, mistakes will inevitably happen.
  • Insufficient training - There are many specialties within the field of medicine. Some hospitals routinely asked workers to take on duties beyond their experience and training.
  • Infection control - When hospitals prioritize the control and prevention of infections, they are often successful in improving patient safety. When hospitals give the problem lip-service or ignore it, the problems only grow worse.
  • Overconfidence - Many health conditions require special facilities to treat them properly. Patients with these problems should be transferred as quickly as possible to maximize their chances of recovery. Some hospitals are slow to make these transfers.

Addressing medical malpractice

Medical malpractice claims have been declining for some time. Time and again, hospitals, physicians and nurses are allowed to harm patients with no repercussions. If you suspect that medical errors in resulted in harm to you or a loved one, you owe it to yourself and anyone else who might receive medical care to look into the matter. Contact an attorney to discuss your situation.

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