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Understanding common medical mistakes could protect you from harm

When you seek medical treatment in Ohio, you no doubt hope and expect that doctors will be able to correctly diagnose your condition and recommend and implement appropriate treatment to obtain as full a recovery as possible. Sometimes, medication is all that's needed to fight an infection, while other times, conditions may warrant surgery.  

In either case, you entrust your health to licensed professionals and assume they will perform their duties according to the utmost level of accepted safety standards. What if that doesn't happen? Sadly, thousands of people suffer injury every year because of surgical errors and other medical negligence.  

Mistakes that are typically preventable 

Do you know that approximately 40,000 harmful mistakes occur every day across the nation specifically due to medical negligence? In fact, reports show that nearly half a million people die every year in situations that were highly preventable. The following list includes additional information regarding medical errors that unfortunately could apply to your situation:  

  • Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States at this time. 
  • Shockingly, many medical errors involve doctors treating the wrong patients. 
  • Equally as frightening, there are situations where doctors have the correct patients lined up for treatment but perform the wrong surgeries or the correct surgeries on the wrong body parts. 
  • Medication errors, including pharmacy mistakes, overdoses or administering the wrong medicine account for many patient injuries in Ohio and other states. 
  • If you are preparing for an organ transplant, you'll want to take all necessary precautions to ensure that your donor organ is not toxic. More than 100 deaths have occurred from toxic transplants. 
  • If your doctor discharges you too soon from the hospital, you may be at risk for a worsened condition.  

If you're proactive, you may be able to improve your own safety because a question you ask might prevent a surgical error or other medical mistake. However, your doctors, surgeons, nurses and other medical team members have a fiduciary duty to act according to protocol to avoid error and keep you as safe as possible.

Justice for victims

There is no reason you should have to go home in a worse condition than you were at the start when you go to the hospital for surgery or other medical treatment. There is inherent risk involved in all medical care, but it is your doctor's or surgeon's obligation to inform you ahead of time of any and all risks. If you suffer injury because someone didn't do his or her job right, you have recourse through Ohio law to pursue justice.

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