Investigating The Occurrence Of Adverse Medical Events

Investigating the occurrence of adverse medical events in Ohio

Americans rely on medical professionals to provide quality health care to people in their time of need. While many lives have been saved at the hands of dedicated surgeons and physicians, many others have been lost due to preventable medical errors.

According to the Journal of Patient Safety, there are an estimated 425,000 people who die each year as a result of medical errors. Countless more receive severe injuries from complications stemming from medical procedures or treatments. As a result of these incredible findings, many hospitals and clinics have implemented stringent policies to minimize the risk of error during surgical procedures. However, some Ohio patients continue to suffer from mistakes made by the attending health care professional.

Medicare study

A current study performed by the Gerontology Program at Maryland's Towson University has found that nearly 20 percent of Medicare patients fall victim to medical injuries. Of the 12,000 patients who were studied, well over 19 percent complained of at least one adverse event as a result of their treatment. Many of the injuries received were not directly related to the patient's affliction or the condition being treated. Approximately 66 percent of the population studied received these injuries in an outpatient setting.

Types of medical errors

Although some types of medical situations are not preventable, others are. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the following are considered preventable medical events:

  • Leaving a foreign body within a surgical site.
  • Administering an incorrect dosage or medication.
  • Surgical site infection caused by not using a prophylactic antibiotic prior to surgery.
  • Performing the wrong surgical procedure on the wrong patient or on the wrong surgical site.
  • Transmission of an infection to a patient.
  • In-hospital injuries, including bed sores, burns, falls or broken bones.

The AAOS also reports that avoidable medical events resulting in patient death or injury may be caused by a physician who fails to diagnose a patient correctly or within a reasonable period of time. This may lead to the exacerbation of the condition. Errors may also be caused by miscommunication, poor operating room performance or failure to follow up properly.

Ohio malpractice legislation

Patients who find that a mistake was made during their surgical procedure or treatment should contact a medical malpractice attorney immediately. Ohio state law indicates that patients have exactly one year from the original injury date to claim malpractice.

Going through life with a painful, discouraging or debilitating condition as the result of medical negligence can be overwhelming. A knowledgeable attorney can help by lending valuable legal advice to those who are the victim of a medical mistake and gather the necessary documents, reports and medical files for the claim. An attorney can also help victims find an expert witness, as one is required by Ohio in malpractice cases.