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Medical errors a serious concern in the United States

No one wants to find out that he or she has been a victim of medical errors. These errors range in severity, from being given the wrong drug to having the wrong body part operated on. As a victim, finding out that someone was mistreating you while you were at your most vulnerable is frightening. Fortunately, you have a right to file a medical malpractice claim after such an incident.

Medical errors themselves are believed to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. It's believed they cause more deaths than emphysema or bronchitis, two significantly dangerous conditions.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins states that medical errors happen regularly with around 251,454 taking place in the United States each year. The true number may be even higher, since nursing homes and nursing home deaths aren't included in the data.

It's hoped that knowing what goes wrong can prevent accidents in the future and lower the risk to patients. There's no excuse for operating on the wrong patient, for forgetting items inside the body during surgery or for failing to treat a patient well while under a medical provider's care.

Medical errors happen for a number of reasons ranging from human error to system mix-ups. An interesting point is that when a medical error is recorded, it may not be accurate. For instance, if a person dies from cardiac arrest but was actually suffering from a hospital-acquired infection due to negligence, then that case would go unknown.

These are just a few things that can hurt patients, and many other dangerous situations affect patients around the U.S. It's important to report your injuries or the death of loved ones, so you can get the compensation you need and the medical community can improve.

Source: CNN, "Medical errors may be third leading cause of death in the U.S.," Jen Christensen, Elizabeth Cohen, accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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