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Outrageous medical mistakes happen every day in the U.S.

Although medical malpractice cases don’t make the news very often, medical malpractice is more common in Chicago and throughout the U.S. than most people realize. Medical errors happen every day in our country, and some mistakes that are made by doctors and other medical professionals are completely shocking.

Recently, CNN published an online article of some of the most surprising medical errors that are made each year. When patients become more aware of how easily and quickly mistakes can be made, patients will hopefully realize that they must communicate with their care providers to make sure their medical providers know exactly who they are and why they are being seen in order to avoid becoming another victim of a preventable medical error.

CNN reported that one common but shocking medical error is treating the wrong patient. Hospital workers sometimes neglect to verify patients’ identities before treating patients. This is most common in cases of similar names.

An alarming hospital error includes losing items. Most patients are aware of the dangers of surgeons accidentally leaving sponges and other equipment inside patients. But staff can also lose patients. Losing a patient can happen when a patient suffers from dementia and wanders off in a facility or escapes a facility.

Patients often suffer serious or fatal injuries when medical professionals fail to provide quality care, but patients are also harmed every year by individuals who pretend to be legitimate doctors. The best way to prevent this from happening is for patients to do their research and to make sure they are seeking treatment from a licensed medical professional.

Like operating on the wrong patient, another jaw-dropping mistake is operating on the wrong body part. Believe it or not, doctors do make this mistake every year. In addition to operating on the wrong body part, doctors could fail to correctly administer anesthesia during an operation. This could cause patients to wake up during surgery or feel pokes from surgical tools during an operation.

One of the most common and preventable medical errors that continues to affect countless patients every year is hospital infections. Hospital workers can spread dangerous and deadly bacteria when they fail to wash their hands or medical equipment. Washing hands and sanitizing equipment in hospitals is absolutely necessary for preventing infections.

Source: CNN, “10 shocking medical mistakes,” John Bonifield, Nov. 5, 2012


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