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Hospitals Failing To Eliminate Preventable Deaths

A story in the Washington Post recently commented on the new reports that indicate that there has been little to no reduction in the number of preventable medical errors in recent years-despite a claimed surge in efforts made by hospital to improve patient safety.

The story’s author, a doctor, explains how a patient suffered a potentially deadly allergic reaction following a medication error committed by several medical professionals. He described getting a call at 3am alerting him that his patient had suddenly spiked a fever. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic, suspecting an infection. However, in doing so the physician forgot his own note written in the patient’s chart alerting of an allergy to antibiotics. Along the way the nurse who administered the medication also failed to notice the problem as did the pharmacist who dispensed the drug. Three individuals had missed the clear warning sign, leading to an allergic reaction.

Preventable errors just like that occur with startling frequency at all hospitals. Despite recent attempt to limit those errors, the problems continue unabated. A recent report revealed that one in seven patients are victims of medical errors-the same figure reported in the first study of such issues ten years ago. The authors explain, “harm remains common, with little evidence of widespread improvement” in the last decade.

Our Chicago malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti are aware that most medical professionals work diligently every day to save lives and provide appropriate medical care. However, we also know that much more work remains to ensure that certain preventable mistakes are eliminated. Our malpractice attorneys remain ready at all times to assist those unfortunate patients who get caught up in problems following medical mistakes. It is vital that the legal system remain open so that these victims can seek justice and the violators can take steps to prevent future problems.

This story contains much more information about the steady problem of preventable medical errors. Click Here to read more.

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