Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.
When you visit the hospital or a clinic to see your physician, you place the utmost trust in his or her ability to diagnose and treat any condition you are dealing with, whether it is a routine appointment or a tragic accident. Even the most knowledgeable, trustworthy doctor can make a mistake when the situation is chaotic. This is highlighted by the fact that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, right behind heart disease and cancer.
Can all medical errors be prevented? While that may seem like an unrealistic goal, the fact that close to 500,000 people die each year from a preventable hospital error shows that you should be aware of the risks you face when seeking treatment.
Common medical errors
Medication errors hurt close to 1.5 million people each year and are often caused by poor communication between patients, doctors and staff. Even something as simple as unintelligible handwriting can lead to disaster.
One of the most common procedures performed in a hospital is a blood transfusion, but research suggests that overdoing it on transfusions may increase the risk of disease or even death. Always ask why the transfusion is necessary before it starts.
Even premature babies are at risk for medication errors, particularly when it comes to oxygen. As doctors and nurses work to find the sweet spot on the amount of oxygen, they must be aware that too much oxygen can cause blindness in babies.
What should you do after dealing with medical malpractice?
If you are dealing with medical errors, you may truly love your health care professionals and do not want to see them punished, but bringing the mistake to light can prevent the same mistake from occurring in the future. You may also need compensation to deal with any changes to your life that are required because of the error. If this is your situation, you may benefit from speaking to an experienced Lake Charles medical malpractice attorney immediately.