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New study sheds light on deadly consequences of medical mistakes

When you go to the hospital in Atlanta for help with a medical issue, you expect help in healing. After all, isn’t that the entire reason for going? Never in your wildest dreams would you imagine that doing so could actually leave you in worse shape than what you started.

According to a new study, this is sadly the case for many people living in the United States who are hospitalized. The study was performed by a NASA toxicologist who looked at four different studies aimed at identifying preventable harm from hospital negligence. The researchers used a screening tool to help them find records with infections, errors or injuries. These records were then studied by doctors who worked to determine the amount of harm done.

What they found has shocked many. Of the 4,200 hospital patients they reviewed, adverse events were found in up to 21 percent of the cases. Using this data and extrapolating it across the number of hospitalizations in a given year, researchers determined that between 210,000 and 440,000 hospital patients die each year from some kind of preventable harm. This estimate would mean that medical errors would account for the third largest cause of death in the U.S., just behind heart disease and cancer.

If you or a loved one has experienced harm from a medical mistake that could have been prevented, you may wish to speak with an attorney about your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering as a result of the error.

Source: Kansas City Public Media, “How Many Die From Medical Mistakes In U.S. Hospitals?” Sep. 24, 2013

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