Being Proactive About Medical Errors

To avoid being injured by medical errors, patients in Connecticut and around the country may want to ask more questions during their treatment. For example, they may ask about the training and experience of their surgeon and ask why doctors are recommending a particular procedure. Patients can also double check their prescription before taking medication and ask questions before agreeing to take a diagnostic test.

Staying involved with medical treatment may be an important way that patients can avoid being injured or killed by medical errors. According to a study that was published in the BMJ in May, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, medical errors cause almost 200,000 deaths.

There are many different factors that cause medical errors. One reason is that doctors and nurses make mistakes because of human error. Another reason is that there are system errors in a hospital or clinic. A system error may be caused by a communication problem with staff members, confusion during a patient transfer or failure to perform proper checks and balances when using electronic medical records.

Proving a medical malpractice claim can be difficult, even when the mistake is egregious. Doctors and hospitals who are sued have insurance companies and defense counsel ready to combat any allegation that a plaintiff may be making. This is why it is advisable to have an attorney who has experience in these matters from the outset of the process. The attorney can review the patient’s hospital records and obtain the opinions of experts in order to demonstrate that the proper standard of care was not administered.