Anytime a Louisiana resident or anyone across the nation goes to the doctor, there is an expectation that the issues they have will be correctly diagnosed and treated. Unfortunately, mistakes happen. The scope of the problem might be vaguely understood without research into this issue, but the research is showing the dangers of a medical error and death to be far higher than previously thought. Those who have been affected or believe they might have been affected and lost a loved one because of a medical mistake should know their rights to seek compensation in a lawsuit.
A study from Johns Hopkins states that more than a quarter-million people in the U.S. die due to medical mistakes each year. This sends medical errors into third place in leading causes of death behind heart disease and cancer. Some studies suggest that the numbers might be worse, with perhaps as many as 440,000 people dying because of a medical mistake. The chasm between the numbers is believed to stem from that absence of notations on death certificates that human error caused the death. The Centers for Disease Control uses death certificates to formulate its statistics, making inaccuracy a problem.
Pharmacy technician errors are also worrisome. One incident involved a toddler who had an abdominal tumor and was treated with chemotherapy. Eventually, she was declared cancer-free. Doctors, however, wanted to give her a last treatment as a precautionary measure. A pharmacy technician overdosed her IV bag with sodium chloride by 20 times the required amount. She died three days later. Experts believe there are many reasons why these mistakes are made and there is a lack of specific numbers as to how many there are. The CDC’s record-keeping practices are not recording all the deaths that might be due to medical error and that hinders attempts to reduce the problems that led to the mistakes.
Pharmacy technicians are often making these errors, as their training can fluctuate from one state to the next. Steps are being taken by researchers and agencies to improve training requirements for medical workers – especially pharmacy workers – to keep patients safer. However, while there are discrepancies in the studies and how information between medical professionals is shared, there will be mistakes that can lead to loss of life. If it is believed that a medical error led to serious injury and death, the injured person and the family left behind should remember their rights to compensation and immediately discuss a medical malpractice lawsuit with an experienced legal professional.