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Simple precautions can eliminate many medical errors

Medical MalpracticeNews   July 30, 2014

A recent report highlights the most common and costly medical errors that take place in U.S. hospitals. It also provided suggestions for how doctors and other medical providers can help prevent those errors, which is important considering the potentially devastating impact that such errors can have.

According to a report released earlier this year, medical errors result in approximately 325,000 deaths per year. Many more patients suffer serious harm as a result of non-fatal errors in the medical setting. Oftentimes, these injuries and deaths are all the more tragic due to their preventable nature.

For example, one of the most common causes of patient harm is infection of surgical sites, which can result from contamination by doctors or other medical staff. Some hospitals and clinics are implementing stricter hand-washing policies to help cut down on these infections.

Simple distraction is another factor that can have severe consequences in the medical setting, especially when it results in surgical errors or medication errors. One strategy that some clinics use to address this problem is to provide medical staff with colored vests or sashes to wear while performing certain tasks, thereby indicating to others that they should not be interrupted.

In Ohio, as in other states, the law provides that patients who are harmed by medical negligence can recover monetary compensation to help offset the damage done by their injuries. However, the specifics of these medical malpractice laws can vary dramatically from one state to the next. This is one reason why it is always a good idea to talk with a lawyer if you or a family member suffers an adverse outcome that may have been caused by the negligence of a physician, surgeon or other healthcare provider.

Source: FierceHealthcare, “Updated medical errors report shows progress,” Zack Budryk, July 11, 2014