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Only 2 percent of medication errors reported to patient, family

When a person is injured, it is expected that the hospital that administers treatment as well as the medical staff will give proper care. Hospital negligence on the part of the hospital staff may lead to severe or fatal injuries in some cases, so it's wise to understand what to do if the situation arises.

Those in Albuquerque may be interested in a recent study that has examined medical mistakes in hospitals around the United States. The study focused on mistakes made with medications and found that many mistakes were more likely to occur in the intensive care units, or ICUs. The study shows that hospital staff members are less likely to tell ICU patients or family members about medical errors than patients in other parts of the hospital. In fact, the study showed that hospital was only informed patients and their family members of errors immediately after they occurred in 2 percent of cases.

According to the report, about 98 percent of the mistakes did not lead to the injury of a patient. However, the most commonly injured patients were those in ICUs, according to the study. The most common errors are believed to be errors of omission. These are errors like failing to give a medication to a patient in need. Harmful errors were most likely to be mistakes with medical devices and dosages, according to the study.

While medical injuries didn't occur in all cases, it's important to understand the rights of patients who have been given the wrong medications. Patients and their families may be able to receive compensation for fatal errors and serious injuries that occur due to medical negligence.

Reuters, "Patients rarely told about medication errors," Andrew M. Seaman, Jan. 11, 2013

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