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Hospitals must do more to prevent error-related deaths

Preventable medical errors are a major problem in hospitals in Arizona and across the United States, according to many studies. In fact, three reports concluded that hospital negligence causes the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans each year as well as a countless number of noon-fatal injuries.

In response, the March edition of Journal of Patient Safety published an article stating that the U.S. health care system must implement strategies to reduce medical mistakes. According to the article, which was written by a doctor from Health Watch USA and his colleagues, many health systems are not investing in patient safety despite having the knowledge to prevent medical mistakes. Some of the deadly medical errors listed in the article include bed ulcers, blood clots, hospital-acquired infections, surgical errors and misdiagnosis.

Many in the health care industry dispute claims that preventable medical errors kill over 200,000 people each year, but the article points out that even the low estimate of 25,000 annual deaths is unacceptable. According to the authors, the health care industry needs to implement known ways to prevent medical errors, including boosting nursing staff levels and creating a culture of safety.

Patients who are harmed due to medical mistakes or hospital negligence may find relief by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible parties with the assistance of an attorney. While a successful lawsuit can never make up for the pain and suffering a victim endures, it could bring a needed financial settlement that covers current and future medical expenses, long-term care, loss of income and other amounts.

Source: Science Daily, "Preventing hospital-related deaths due to medical errors," Feb. 13, 2017

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