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Experts want to prevent deaths from hospital errors

Hospitals in Illinois and throughout the country serve thousands of patients each day. The majority of patients are treated and released when medical conditions improve. However, some patients die in the hospital due to a variety of reasons. A recent article in a medical journal addresses those deaths that occur as the result of preventable hospital errors.

The number of deaths from medical errors is disputed among experts in the field, with estimates from 25,000 to 200,000 per year. However, patient advocates believe that the number of incidents is underreported and that centralized data is needed. They contend that even the lower number of preventable deaths is not acceptable and steps should be taken to improve the situation.

The article's authors cite several causes of hospital deaths that could be prevented. These causes include blood clots, hospital-acquired infections, misdiagnosis and surgical errors. The authors contend that most hospitals have the knowledge to prevent many deaths. Unfortunately, many facilities do not have adequate plans in place to address patient safety.

When hospital errors are proven to be a contributing factor to a loved one's death or illness, many Illinois families seek advice from a personal injury lawyer. A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed to seek damages from the hospital due to negligence. An experienced attorney can provide assistance in determining what course of action to take. A positive outcome from a lawsuit could help families deal with the financial burden of medical costs and/or funeral expenses, as well as other financial losses.

Source: sciencedaily.com, "Preventing hospital-related deaths due to medical errors", Feb. 13, 2017

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