Britton Law, P.A.
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Mistakes that commonly occur in hospitals

As some North Carolina residents know, medical mistakes in the hospital are estimated to kill about 440,000 Americans yearly. This makes hospital error one of the top three causes of death in this country. Hospital-acquired infections are common and are developed by more than 700,000 patients each year. More than 10 percent of those infections prove to be fatal.

Medication errors are common and may make a difference in whether a patient gets better or worse. Mistakes may occur when medication is prescribed for the wrong condition or the wrong dosage. Errors also may occur in the pharmacy or during the hospital stay. A nurse might bring the wrong medicine to a patient or in the wrong dosage.

Being discharged too early may lead to complications or a return trip to the hospital. Knowing if there are restrictions in place, whether a particular diet is advised, and when and how to take medications is important. In addition, the patient may ask for copies of test results and make an appointment for follow-up before leaving.

Receiving antibiotics is common, and approximately 50 percent of hospital patients are given one. Some patients are given the wrong antibiotic. Taking to many might result in bacteria that are highly resistant. If good stomach bacteria is eradicated, an overgrowth of clostridium difficile can result. This causes illness in about 250,000 individuals yearly with 14,000 deaths.

A patient who has been the victim of hospital negligence might have a worsened condition in addition to incurring financial losses in the form of medical expenses and an inability to return to work. People who are in this position may want to have legal assistance in seeking compensation from the at-fault facility.

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