Everyone makes mistakes. When doctors, nurses and other medical personnel make those mistakes, the consequences to patients in their care can be deadly. In fact, it is estimated that up to 440,000 people die each year due to doctor, nurse and/or hospital negligence. Some sources would recommend that patients here in Oregon and across the country be proactive in helping to reduce medical errors. However, not every patient has the opportunity to do so.
For example, one woman used a marker to write on herself to remind her surgical team the body part on which they were to operate. She also made sure that her wristband and charts were correct. She took these precautions herself even though she was not obligated to do so.
However, many patients do not take these extra steps for a variety of reasons, and it is certainly not a requirement. The patient could be unconscious, otherwise incapacitated or simply trusts that the medical staff is competent enough to ensure the care provided is up to current standards. The problem is that once an individual steps into — or is somehow wheeled into — a hospital, there are any number of mistakes that can occur.
Most Oregon patients trust that the care they receive will be at, or exceed, current standards. However, so long as there are human beings involved, nurse, doctor and hospital negligence will occur. Medical malpractice law is designed to provide restitution to patients who are victims of these mistakes — or their families in the case of death — once it is established by appropriate evidence that the care received was substandard.
Source: lcsun-news.com, “Headed for a hospital stay? What you should know“, S. Derrickson Moore, March 1, 2016