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An exhausted hospital staff can result in medical malpractice

If you are seriously injured or sick, odds are you will head to your local hospital in San Diego for treatment. Sterile sheets, beeping machines and brightly lit rooms typically paint the landscape for healing and recovery. However, humans run hospitals, and humans make mistakes. In fact, medical malpractice can mean leaving a hospital in worse condition than when you entered it.

Hospitals can house hundreds of patients at a time, resulting in overworked doctors and nurses more susceptible to making errors. In fact, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients are 2 percent more likely to die if they are on a floor where nurses are running on fumes.

The cause of death in these situations can be any number of things, including delayed response times. Researchers at the University of Michigan found some patients waited for help as long as 18 minutes after using the call light. Wait times in emergency rooms are also increasing by as much as 25 percent, resulting in more fatal situations. Another threat: a new study by Johns Hopkins University reveals that hospitals hide 98 percent of medication mix-ups from patients. Issuing the wrong prescription can cause severe medical complications and even death.

One doctor notes that identifying a mistake can be as easy as looking on your chart, as phrases like “near miss” or “risk management” can indicate a medical error. Even if a physician is able to spot and correct a mistake, they may be held liable for the indiscretion. If you suspect you have been a victim of professional medical negligence, you may want to consult an attorney to discuss seeking compensation.

Source: Men’s Health, “Protect Yourself: 8 Common Mistakes Made by Hospital Staffs,” Cindy Kusma, Oct. 7, 2013 

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