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Surgical errors more prevalent than originally thought

More and more, patients today are learning that they need to be proactively involved in their health care. Massachusetts residents should always remember they have the right to ask questions and be informed about their care. While things like second opinions may help to prevent some problems, there are times when patients remain more vulnerable to medical errors During and after surgeries are prime examples of these times.

Some studies that evaluated errors relating to surgical procedures were based on self-reported information from providers. Results from a new study, however, have been released and are based on data collected by a team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital. This group found that the number of problems associated with surgeries is far greater than originally thought based upon the earlier studies.

The most common thread among all errors was medication dosage. When evaluating all of the cases with problems that may have resulted in a harmful drug-related error, nearly 70 percent fell into the category of "serious." Just under half of those - about 30 percent of the overall total - were classified as significant in nature. These types of errors may not be able to be averted by a patient's proactivity as a patient may not have the ability to evaluate dosages.

When a person is concerned about a medical error or a suspected medical error, it may be wise to talk with an attorney. This may help identify what if any action is needed.


Source: Becker's, "Medical errors occur in nearly 50% of surgeries; 4 key notes," Mary Rechtoris, July 28, 2016

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