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Study says more than 400,000 die each year from medical errors

A new study concerning medical errors may catch the attention of Greenville patients. According to an analysis performed by a toxicologist and published in the Journal of Patient Safety, as many as 440,000 patients die each year as the result of a hospital error. The study indicates that medical mistakes account for the third biggest cause of death in the country.

Consumer Reports looked at more than 2,500 hospitals and rated their safety using data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. What they found was that the chance of dying in some hospitals is much higher than it is in others. The ratings were based on how likely it is for a patient to die within 30 days of being admitted for pneumonia, heart failure or a heart attack. They also looked into the number of surgery patients who die in the hospital from serious but treatable complications.

The study aims to increase the awareness of medical mistakes resulting in death and to improve hospital safety. It also says that a patient's best defense against preventable errors is to be informed, and it recommends to select a hospital with a high safety rating and to have a family member or friend present as much as possible.

Medical malpractice can result in debilitating injuries or death. When a patient is injured as the result of hospital negligence or doctor errors, they may be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent care providers for compensation of damages. Those considering filing this type of suit may want to discuss their situation with an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice cases.

Source: WRAL, "Study estimates 440,000 die from medical errors", May 06, 2014

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