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Medical errors claim too many lives

Pennsylvania residents may be surprised to learn that preventable medical errors potentially cause the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans every year. All hospitals across the United States are more dangerous than they should be, but improvements are being made.

What defines a medical error has become more precise in recent years, and detection methods have also improved. Harm in medical settings usually falls into two categories. The first category involves a doctor or a nurse who had a good intent, and then something went wrong. This would include a preventable infection, a sponge left in the body after surgery or the overdose of medication. The second category is one of intent, which could involve a wrong diagnosis.

Dangerous care is often the result of caring and highly trained individuals working in a system that devolves into routine and dangerous dysfunction. This dysfunction has the potential to blind medical professionals and staff members.

Steps are being taken to reduce the dangers that patients face in hospitals. Healthcare groups, hospital associations and other organizations are working to eliminate all harm in hospitals. The federal government is also working to provide guidance to protect patients.

Leaders of these groups often comment on the fact that the cultural changes that are needed to improve care in hospitals are slow and painful. However, they are nowhere as painful as watching a family member suffer and even die because of medical mistakes made in a hospital. An individual who is the victim of medical malpractice or their family members may want to speak with an attorney. An attorney may look at the circumstances of a person’s case and provide guidance on how to file a claim. They may also be able to represent a client in court if it is necessary.