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Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death

New York residents who are injured or sick go to hospitals to get better, but they often experience adverse events during their stays. Some of the most common medical errors that affect patients in the U.S. include adverse drug events and infections. Many of these errors have fatal consequences for patients, and some studies have shown that medical errors are the third leading cause of death.

A study by Johns Hopkins University researchers found that out of 35 million hospital stays there are nearly 200,000 deaths from medical errors each year. Another study by the Department of Health and Human Services showed that about 29 percent of people with Medicare benefits have been temporarily or permanently harmed or killed by an adverse medical event.

A majority of medical errors are caused by system failures rather than poor judgment. A system failure could be a miscommunication between medical staff that leads to a mistake with a patient's medication or treatment plan. If there is a serious system failure involving a patient who is going in for surgery, the patient could experience complications from wrong-site or wrong-patient surgery. To prevent system failures, patients and their family members should pay attention to everything that is being done during the hospital stay and ask lots of questions.

Some medical errors are caused by failures that occur very early in a patient's treatment. A patient who is misdiagnosed during an initial emergency room visit could end up receiving medication that causes harm. An attorney may be able to help a patient who sustained injuries from a misdiagnosis or other medical error to file a hospital negligence lawsuit.

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