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Survey: worsened condition after errors common for ill people

Louisianans who are having medical issues will not expect to face a worsened condition due to medical mistakes made by those who are supposed to be providing care. However, this does happen frequently and people are injured or even die because of it. Research finds an increasing number of people who have either suffered from this type of issue themselves or had a loved one suffer from it. When it happens, it is key to recognize that there was a mistake and consider available steps to pursue compensation.

A survey from Harvard, the New York Times and the Commonwealth Fund showed that almost 25 percent of people who were seriously ill suffered a severe medical mistake. Fourteen percent of them said this occurred while they were at the hospital. Seven percent said it occurred at a clinic or the doctor's office. In the study, just shy of 1,500 people age 18 and older who took part. They represented people who suffered from a serious illness across the U.S.

When defining "serious illness," there were two methods used: people who in the prior three years had a medical condition or a serious illness that made it necessary for them to have several trips to the hospital and the need to see more than one doctor; or if the person had not had this problem themselves, but had a close family member who did and the person could not be interviewed and had it happen in the previous three years.

The survey showed that hospital issues for 22 percent who were seriously ill said that the medical staff did not respond to their needs, and 21 percent said that they would not recommend that those suffering from the same medical condition go to that hospital. With those who went to several physicians, 29 percent said they were asked to take tests they had already taken or have diagnostic procedures done by different medical professionals. Twenty-three percent stated their wait time was excessive as they sought treatment, testing and an appointment. Twenty-three percent said that they received different recommendations from separate care providers.

When a person who suffers from a serious illness seeks treatment from a medical professional the expectation is that they will receive the proper care and it will help them. As this study shows, that is not always the case. When there is a belief that a medical error made a person sicker, exacerbated a condition, or created medical problems that were not there previously, it is imperative have experienced legal assistance to examine the case. A law firm that understands medical malpractice can help in pursuing compensation and should be contacted for advice.

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