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In what ways do medical mistakes injure California patients?

So often medical care is focused on what happens in the moment of actually treating an injury or a disease - the steps taken, the medication given, the surgery performed. Unfortunately, during the act of treating a California patient's condition, mistakes can be made and medical malpractice occurs. What then happens after the mistakes are made?

According to a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, hospital staff and medical providers commonly do not reveal information to patients about mistakes that occurred. The study revealed that following a mistake, only 9 percent of patients received voluntary notification of the mistake from medical staff. Significantly, often patients who did learn about mistakes that occurred during treatment learned of the mistakes because the staff was forced to notify them of the mistakes.

Injuries that occur due to hospital neglect or hospital negligence often lead to additional expense for patients. More than 30 percent of those who suffered from medical mistakes had to pay additional medical bills, averaging over $14,000. These patients may be the lucky ones, as another study published in the Journal of Patient Study indicates that over 210,000 patients die annually from medical mistakes.

Some researchers believe that medical providers are aware of their need to openly talk to patients about medical errors that have occurred, but they lack the "moral courage" to confront the mistakes and talk to patients. For patients who have been injured due to a medical mistake, this lack of acknowledgment can amount to a second injury of sorts - the first, a medical injury, the second, a personal injury in which a doctor fails to disclose the full nature of the treatment a patient received.

Source: ProPublica, "The Two Things That Rarely Happen After a Medical Mistake," Olga Pierce and Marshall Allen, Nov. 21, 2014

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