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Medical errors very common in the United States

People from across the state of Pennsylvania turn to doctors, nurses and hospitals for medical care. People often don't have the wherewithal or resources to treat their own medical issues. Instead, they trust professionals to identify and treat their medical issues.

In 1999, a nationwide study revealed that 98,000 people died every year in the United States as a result of a medical error. In response to these findings, a variety of local and federal initiatives began to try and reduce the number of medical mistakes occurring throughout the United States. Specifically, a goal was set to reduce the number of medical errors by 50 percent over the next five years.

However, 15 years later, the country still deals with a staggering number of medical errors. Data suggests that adverse events still occur to patients throughout the United States. Specifically, between 100,000 and 400,000 medical mistakes happen throughout the United States each year. These numbers show that the country is far from its goal of reducing medical errors.

Many have wondered why doctor errors are still so prominent today. Some suggest that initiatives to reduce errors are not working for a number of reasons. Some medical professionals have claimed that safety initiatives are not working because management at hospitals are reluctant to follow certain guidelines. Other medical experts say that hospitals rely too little on direct patient advocacy. In other words, experts argue that the patients themselves should be better informed in order to help prevent medical errors.

No matter the reason for the continuing medical errors, a person can be greatly affected when a mistake occurs. If a person is injured by a negligent hospital or negligent doctor, a medical malpractice suit may be warranted. In such a suit, people could be compensated for their injuries. People who have been injured by a medical mistake should understand their legal rights.

Source: The Inquirer, "Medical errors remain all too common - and deadly," Maryanne McGuckin, Dec. 30, 2015

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