When Pottsville residents must undergo medical treatment to address a serious condition or injury, it can be scary and intimidating. Patients who find themselves in this situation place an immense amount of trust in their doctor and other medical professionals. Unfortunately, this trust can be violated when medical errors are made.

According to a recent study in the medical journal Anesthesiology, almost half of the surgeries at one of the leading hospitals in patient safety had a medication error or adverse drug event. This error rate was higher than those found in previous studies, which officials attributed to the fact that the earlier studies relied on self-reporting by providers.

At the same time, the study is another in a line of research that reveals how frequent medical errors occur in hospitals every year. Tens of thousands of people die from medical mistakes each year, whether they be from an anesthesia error, surgical error or otherwise. Making matters worse, these errors are typically preventable, which means the patient should have never suffered injury had the proper precautions been followed by the hospital staff.

While experts hope the new study improves patient safety, the reality is that many patients will continue to be injured by preventable medical errors. In these instances, injured patients and their families may have a cause of action available based on medical malpractice.

The medical malpractice action can serve many different goals. First and foremost, it can provide much-needed compensation to the injured patient, who is often saddled with extreme medical expenses, treatment costs and other financial challenges in the wake of the error. The action can also be another important tool to hold medical providers accountable for their errors, which can help reduce the likelihood of those errors occurring in the future.

Source: Philly.com, “Want to become an empowered patient? A new study on surgical errors will help,” Marcelo H. Fernandez-Vina, Nov. 2, 2015