For those California residents unfortunate enough to find themselves in need of serious medical attention or a trip to the hospital, it can be disheartening to learn that hospitals are not always the safest places. Although most doctors and medical staff act with integrity, and take their jobs very seriously, human error and hospital negligence are real parts of life at medical facilities across the country.
Hospital negligence is a growing problem and to raise awareness of the issue, California Sen. Barbara Boxer released a report recently that detailed a startling reality: Over 325,000 Americans die every year in hospitals due to medical errors, negligence, and malpractice.
There are many ways that hospital negligence can manifest itself, but some of the most common mistakes are related to mix-ups in medicine administered to a patient, or a staff’s failure to properly control for infections around a facility.
The recent report warned of the high costs of medical personnel making simple mistakes, which can result in disastrous effects for patients. The heart of the report lies in its insistence that all hospitals and medical personnel or staff take all necessary precautions to avoid hospital negligence.
The report highlights the use of new technologies that make the jobs of hospital staffs easier and keep patients safer. In addition, the California Legislature was urged to increase the cap on damages a patient may sue for in the event of negligence or medical malpractice.
Mistakes and errors are a part of life and a part of medicine as well. However, all medical personnel in the state of California and around the country have a responsibility to provide the best treatment they can, with as few errors and mistakes as possible. If those medical personnel fail to meet that responsibility, they could be held responsible for the damages resulting from that failure.
Source: Whittier Daily News, “325,000 deaths in American hospitals due to medical errors, Sen. Barbara Boxer says,” Susan Abram, April 25, 2014