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Medical malpractice: 5 routine tasks that can cause death

Advocates for patient safety say preventable medical errors cause over 200,000 deaths of patients every year nationwide, including in Wisconsin. Many times that number suffer but survive the consequences of medical malpractice. It has been noted that five preventable mistakes frequently lead to devastating consequences. The first is medication errors, which can include administration of the wrong drugs, incorrect doses or dangerous combinations of drugs.

One expert in the field says patients should always question the need for blood transfusions because studies have shown that these procedures increase infection, disease and fatality risks. The next common error involves premature babies and the danger of giving them too much oxygen. There is a fine line between enough and too much oxygen, which can result in blindness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 25 percent of patients leave hospitals in worse condition due to infections related to negligent health care — most frequently from medical staff’s failure to wash their hands. Another source of infections is said to be tubes inserted to administer fluids or medication straight into large veins. One doctor called this the highway traveled by bacteria to the blood and bladder of a patient. This typically occurs when clinicians forget to remove the lines after administration.

These are all common tasks carried out by medical staff countless times every day, which might be why some are handled negligently. Victims sometimes feel the only way to prevent such negligence may be through medical malpractice lawsuits. A victim of medical malpractice is typically entitled to seek recovery of financial and other losses through the Wisconsin civil justice system. However, it is a complicated field of the law, and such a claim is usually best navigated by an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, “5 Common Preventable Medical Errors“, Anna Medaris Miller, Accessed on July 21, 2017

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