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Hospital negligence and hospital error are exploding phenomena

A Pitt County woman recently had a close call in a hospital. If not for her own firmness and mental acuity, she could have been operated on unnecessarily. Although her own aptitude allowed her to avoid worse circumstances, it appears she was a victim of hospital negligence and hospital error.

The woman had suffered a hip fracture and was admitted to a hospital. Because she has quite a complicated medical history, the doctors and patient decided that the best course of action would be to commence surgery-related testing after two days. However, the woman was informed the very next day that she would be operated on within hours, to which she refused consent.

While in the hospital, the woman was frequently instructed to take medicines that didn't appear correct. She also did not receive several of her regular medications even though she had provided lists of her day-to-day medicines to the hospital staff - several times. Fortunately for this woman she was aware of her prescription regime and health history to know when things didn't make sense. These are obvious instances of hospital negligence and hospital error.

What might have happened if the woman had taken the wrong medications and not taken the right ones? Very possibly a wrongful death or injury was averted by the patient's own awareness and mental acuity.

These kinds of errors and negligence are exploding phenomena according to authors, Joe and Teresa Graedon. The couple has recently authored a book on common mistakes made by physicians and how to be more proactive to avoid them from happening. Among the statistics they cite is: on average one error per hospital bed occurs per day, and another that states that one-third of hospital patients gets iatrogenic illness (illness resulting directly from a mistake made in medical care).

It is particularly distressing when one entrusts medical professionals with his or her health, but negligence results a health decline, a new illness - or even death. The agony suffered from such an occurrence cries out for compensation and justice not only for the victim but in the case of wrongful death, the victim's family. Attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice are able to provide guidance to victims and families and inform them as to the various possible lines of action and remedies under the umbrella of the law.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, "Mistakes are all too common in hospitals," Aug. 23, 2011

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