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Hospital negligence and medical errors come in many forms

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people across the country, including many here in Oregon, are the victims of medical errors. Some of the errors do not cause any lasting harm, but others lead to permanent injuries and even death. When this happens, the victims and/or their families could file hospital negligence claims.

One source outlines five errors that appear to be the most common. The first involves errors in the prescribing and/or dispensing of medication. Other people contract debilitating and even deadly infections while they are under the care of a hospital. Patients who are receiving fluids, blood and medications through a central line also contract infections.

The last two most common medical errors involve patients being given too much of something. Some patients who receive blood transfusions receive too many. Premature babies could be given too much oxygen, which can cause injuries. These might be the most common instances of medical malpractice, but other errors occur that are just as serious.

A certain percentage of mistakes happen before, during and after surgeries. A study done regarding medication errors by anesthesiologists found that the majority of drug administration problems (79.3 percent) could have been prevented. Furthermore, post-operative infections can easily occur without proper monitoring and care.

Oregon residents who suffered a serious injury due to apparent hospital negligence, or lost a loved one because of it, might benefit from pursuing a medical malpractice claim. If negligence is proved, an award of damages could be ordered. Medical mistakes often come with the need for further care, which can be expensive -- and not just in medical bills. Any restitution received could help with the financial burdens that arise in these situations.

Source: beckersasc.com, "10 things to know about medical errors", Anuja Vaidya, Jan. 29, 2016

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