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When medical errors occur, everyone loses

Massachusetts readers may be interested to know that there are many protocols in hospitals to prevent mistakes such as wrong sided surgery or medication errors. However, when a surgical error or other medical errors cause death or serious injury, patients can feel as if they have been denied the expectation of safety and well being.

There are many medical errors that can occur in hospitals. They range from wrong-side surgery to medication errors. One doctor shared his mistake in the New England Journal of Medicine. He ended up performing a carpal tunnel procedure instead of a trigger-finger release procedure on a 65-year-old patient. He stated that marks on the patient's hand were accidentally washed away; and since the surgeries were running behind schedule that day he did not finish the presurgery timeout. He corrected his error that same day. The doctor says that he now does not find safety protocols to be a burden.

A more serious case occurred at Seattle Children's Hospital. A 50-year-old nurse gave an accidental and lethal overdose of calcium chloride to a baby. She was fired by the hospital and later committed suicide. A St. Louis family faced a shocking outcome when a 28-year-old family member suffered irreversible brain damage because of an anesthesia error during a routine hernia surgery. The patient now requires round-the-clock care.

Errors on the part of medical professionals may have a devastating impact on the patient and the patient's family. A Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney may be able to review the case and make recommendations that will help with some of the expenses that occur when a loved one is injured by hospital negligence.

Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch, "Medical errors leave devastating impact on families, professionals", Blythe Bernhard, May 05, 2013

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