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Common medical errors that have serious consequences

According to relatively recent statistics, over 200,000 people across the country die in hospitals each year due some sort of preventable medical malpractice. Many more, about 4 million patients, suffer a worsened condition or further injuries because of the mistakes of doctors and other medical professionals.

While no Riverside, California, resident wants to think of being a victim of medical malpractice, it is important for them to recognize the more common types of medical mistakes. Aside from being informed, knowing where to look for an error can help a family that suspects medical malpractice may have injured or even killed a loved one ask the right questions and, if appropriate, get compensation for their losses.

Many acts of malpractice involve the improper prescribing or administering of medication. Aside from someone just flat out missing a dose, giving too many doses, or measuring wrong, there is often a lot of miscommunication about a patient's condition and what drugs he or she is on. With poor communication or documentation, giving the wrong drug or the wrong amount of a drug is a real possibility.

Related to medication errors, it is more common than one might think to give blood transfusions too often or provide too much oxygen to babies born prematurely. While oxygen and blood are both necessary to one's life and health, too much of it can be a bad thing. For instance, blindness is possible if an infant gets too much oxygen.

Another common medical mistake is just not realizing how easy it is to spread an infection in a hospital. Although hospitals are well-known as clean and sanitary environments, they are in fact a breeding ground for very dangerous bacteria and other infections. The failure of even one professional to wear proper gloves or wash their hands well can leave a patient dealing with another serious and potentially fatal illness.

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