A recent study indicates that medical errors may now be the third leading cause of death in the United States. Two hundred fifty thousand people a year die not due to any disease, but to hospital and clinic oversights and mistakes. It is a deadly problem that could happen to anyone, regardless of medical history, age, or any other demographic. Anyone who visits a hospital is potentially at risk.
Many Opportunities for Mistakes
Even a good doctor is not above the occasional mistake, often missing key information in what may be a complex case. There are many reasons why health care professionals slip up, not limited to their excessively long shifts and the high numbers of patients under their care. The more intricate the health care industry grows, the more opportunities there are for mistakes which can harm a patient.
Doctors lead large teams of professionals who attend to our health care needs. Often, the doctor is thorough but someone else commits the error. Poor training and understaffing can lead to the doctor missing a vital piece of information or a mistake of his or her coworkers.
Negligence usually comes down to a lack of communication.
- Healthcare professionals in the same setting must pass information back and forth. All it takes is one mistake to ruin the whole process.
- Doctors of different specialties and in different centers often have to coordinate their care and do not communicate directly with each other.
- Different institutions may have different transfer procedures which can complicate the process of moving from hospital to rehab, or rehab to outpatient centers, or clinics to hospitals.
- Information can arrive late, after a doctor has already written a prescription or taken another important decision.
- Understaffing in hospitals can give doctors less time to spend with patients.
When a doctor’s error has adversely affected your health and well-being, you need the help of experienced professionals to guide you through the process of getting the compensation you are due. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a medical error, call Regan Zambri Long and discuss your legal options with our attorneys.