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Our life’s are filled with us making mistakes, no human is perfect. Some mistakes may be little and not so important, such as spilling a cup of juice. Other mistakes can be fatal and can cause a major impact in our lives. Medical mistakes can occur from the miscommunication of health providers, specialist, hospital administration, nursing staff, pharmacists, and many others involved. Medical errors is the third leading cause of deaths in the United States. With this being such serious issue that hospitals face day to day, hospitals are now creating better methods of communication to prevent these fatal mistakes from happening . The safety of the patient lays in their hands. These mistakes can also leave hospitals having to pay millions of dollars.
After a recent news search, just right here in the Buffalo area, the families of patients James Keane and Ellen Feeney are suing the Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, after both of them died from infections that were caused after their surgery. Both Keane and Feeney were operated on by different surgeons 45 hours apart, but both suffered perforated bowels which is a hole in the gastrointestinal tract, that led to sepsis and later lead to death. Mr. Keane underwent surgery for a hernia while Ms. Feeney was being treated for an ovarian cyst. Both families claim this all could have been prevented if the staff documented everything correctly and reported the infection to a doctor.
Medical mistakes are of many types, the most common mistake is provider-to-provider. The provider-to-provider errors involve miscommunication of the patient’s condition, poor documentation, failure to read the patient’s medical record and medication errors. The second most common mistake is made between the provider and patient. This involves inadequate informed consent, inadequate education such as medication, incomplete follow-up instructions and miscommunication due to a language barrier.
How can we continue to avoid these problems and provide adequate care for every patient that walks into a medical center? We can learn how to follow proper medical procedures,document everything , Learn your institution’s administration policies, regulations and guidelines, come into work place work ready, double check all equipment to be used and always communicate with someone if you see a problem.
The medical community does not take these issues lightly, nor do they just disappear from the books. There are numerous practices, meetings, conferences and proposals that aim to help decrease the rate of errors in all aspects in medical care. Unfortunately, it is not an easy problem, it just seems like we keep seeing lawsuits against hospitals over the same problems.

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