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Multiple doctor errors suffered by Queens woman

Every physician takes the Hippocratic oath, vowing to do no harm. In fact, most doctors center their lives on helping others. Unfortunately, doctor errors do happen, disrupting the vital trust that we have in medical professionals.

A Queens woman recently experienced a variety of medical errors by a number of different doctors. She originally went to the hospital for treatment of her ulcerative colitis. After 26 days in the hospital and being seen by 14 different doctors, her health continued to decline.

She was finally discharged to a rehabilitation facility without her underlying condition diagnosed or treated. In fact, she went to the facility believing that she was going there to die.

Alarmed at her worsened condition, a family member arranged for admission to a different hospital. She was immediately treated for a blood clot, a bacterial infection, and had a portion of her colon removed. She has since made a full recovery.

A recent federal report indicates that as many as 15,000 Medicare patients will actually die from the harm suffered in hospitals every month. The specific causes of these deaths will vary. Relying on multiple providers -- and the ensuing lack of communication -- are factors that contribute to these errors. However, the ultimate responsibility should rest with the doctors.

The long-term impact of medical errors can include medical bills, emotional trauma, and loss of trust in the medical establishment. Qualified legal representatives can help in navigating the legal process of determining who should be held accountable for that impact.

Source: Kaiser Health News, "Patients often have no single doc for care," Roni Caryn Rabin, June 2, 2013

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