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Medical Mistakes and the Resulting Fatalities

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Patient Safety America's founder John T. James, PhD, published a study on deaths associated with needless complications in hospitals around the country, stressing the need for more health care regulation. In the study, he estimates over 400,000 American lives are lost, with the Office of Inspector General quoting separately in 2012 that 86% are not even reported.

In one such case where the death was actually reported, senior Louis Seleca went to the hospital reportedly feeling chest pain and shortness of breath. Despite being in overnight care with round the clock monitoring, complications on oxygen given to the patient were not even noticed until heart failure and the following emergency surgery, which revealed a ruptured heart muscle. According to the investigation afterwards, his survival rate would have gone up 70% if preventative measures had taken place.

Highlighted thereafter were the 5 categories in which medical mistakes fall under: error of commission, omission, communication, context, and misdiagnosing. The article continues with the most common pre-discharge and post-discharge Preventable Adverse Effects (PAE's) ranging from prescription side-effects to post operation injuries, such as torn incisions or blood clots.

The article concludes with a recent report of a decline in fatalities and injuries due to medical error after more health care efforts were put into action since 2010, as well as an increase in public awareness.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884.

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