Recent reports suggest that medical errors in Pennsylvania are on the decline. However, some people are wondering whether this statistic tells the entire story. Although some studies show that medical errors have declined by about half since 2005, it is important to recognize that there are some outlying factors. For example, some hospitals file considerably lower numbers of reports than others. This suggests that they may be under-reporting accidents and errors. Pa lawmakers are also looking into whether it's unreasonably hard for patients to file cases in certain areas of the state. All of this information also impacts how insurance companies can become involved when corresponding personal injury claims are filed.
Pharmacists are likely your first line of communication in the medical community. They fill your prescriptions, answer your questions, and are the cornerstone of drug stores across the country. However, filling all of those prescriptions sometimes leads error. Some studies state that pharmacy dispensing errors account for about 20% of the medication errors that impact patients overall. Although pharmacists work very hard to minimize these mistakes, sometimes they do happen. When they do, the consequences can be harmful and even life-threatening. Here are some times to avoid medication errors:
In the wake of modern technology, there are many ways to make our lives simpler, easier, and more efficient. One of these new ways is through the use of digitally sending requests such as prescription refills. Some companies are offering customers, and pharmacists, the option to text in their prescriptions and refill requests. However, sometimes the concepts that are supposed to make things easier can sometimes lead more complications.
A little while ago, our blog highlighted the recent lawsuit that hit UPMC involving mold and the impact it had on organ donation (our original blog post can be found by clicking this link). According to updated news reports, the same families of the organ transplant patients are now also including UPMC's linen provider in the lawsuit. The linen service was added to the lawsuit after the same type of mold that killed the transplant patients was also found at the linen plant. The families' position is that the mold from the hospital (and their linens) resulted in mold in the transplant patients' lungs, which ultimately caused their deaths. The linen plant has issued a statement regarding their position on the matter as well.
Medical malpractice is hard to prove in the legal world, but negligent doctors and hospitals should be held accountable when failing to properly diagnose or implement improper treatments that lead to severe injuries. Pain, suffering, medical bills (both past and future) and a lost earnings are just a portion of the hardships that patients have to endure as a result of medical malpractice. If you feel that you or a loved one has been a victim of hospital negligence that led to severe injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100 for a consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr.
In interesting news, Penn State-University Park recently hosted a speaker who advocates for patient safety in the area. The speaker, Sorrel King, told the story of her 1 1/2 year old daughter who died as a result of medical error. According to a news article released by Penn State, King's daughter Josie died due to dehydration and an incorrectly administered drug while being treated at a hospital in Baltimore. As a result of her daughter's death, King wrote a book and started a foundation to advocate for patient safety and help facilitate changes in the health care industry. As King noted in her speech, she felt that her daughter's death was due to a lack of effective communication, and not from doctor/nurse mistakes.
When you hear about leading causes of death in the United States, what do you think of? Maybe car accidents, cancer, or other related illnesses? Well, it may surprise you to know that medical errors in hospitals are responsible for between 200,000-400,000 deaths per year. Some of these errors include hospital-acquired infections, medication errors, wrong operations, and diagnostic errors. These numbers don't even include deaths from medical errors committed in a hospital, but occur after the patient has been discharged.