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Investigations Conclude: California Hospitals Make Hundreds of Thousands of Medical Mistakes

According to NBC News, state records indicate that California hospitals account for an astonishing amount of medical mistakes, or as labeled adverse mistakes. According to the findings, these adverse mistakes are the leading cause of fatality in the nation after cancer and heart attacks. A study published by the Journal for Patient Safety found that 400,000 patients have lost their lives as a result of these so-called adverse mistakes.

Regrettably, the California report does not name the hospitals involved in the findings, nor does it identify the time period in which the incidents occurred or the corresponding fines linked to the events. The news source, NBC Investigative Unit, confirmed that much of the information about medical mistakes is not easily available for the general public. The information also cannot be easily be uncovered by the average California consumer. In order to obtain a copy of the information, the NBC Investigative Unit had to file a public records request to the California Department of Public Health. The entire process took a lengthy nine months but it resulted in additional information such as the database of fines imposed for the medical mistakes and fines for the failure to report adverse events to the state.

What the Data Demonstrates

According to the report, the data collected indicates that hospitals in the State of California alone have reported approximately 6,000 adverse events in the last 4 fiscal years. These adverse events range from “fatality associated with error” to a “stage 3-4 decubitus ulcer”, which is a term for hospital caused bedsores. Even so, it is important to note that the State of California has no method of ensuring that hospitals are reporting all occurring errors. Medical experts state that there is reason to believe that many hospitals in California do not report adverse events and there is currently no method to enforce that they make these reports.

Adverse Events in Hospitals Across the State

Adverse events are described as events that occur in hospitals where a medical procedure goes wrong, ultimately causing injury to the patient. Adverse events can be more common but serious injuries, such as bedsores; but they can also be even more serious, such as the retention of a foreign item in the body after surgery.

Soon after the incident has occurred, hospitals are supposed to report them. A majority of states, such as Minnesota and Washington, publish their reports on a regular basis. The State of California, however, publishes a report once a year, and how trustworthy it is may be debated. Although hospitals can be fined for failure to report adverse events, when an incident does occur, it is nearly impossible to discover if the event was ever reported.

Consult a California Medical Error Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a hospital medical error, it is crucial to seek the legal advice of an experienced medical error attorney. Medical error claims are intricate but an experienced medical malpractice attorney understands what is needed to prove a case.

The attorneys at Heiting & Irwin have many years of dedicated experience helping victims of medical malpractice cases obtain the financial compensation they deserve following medical errors. The firm understands that these cases are delicate and demand vigorous defense. If you were injured by a negligent medical professional, obtain the legal support you need to win the compensation you deserve.

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Mr. Serrano has been admitted to practice before California State and Federal Courts. He was named to the Super Lawyers’ 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Southern California Rising Stars List, an honor awarded to no more than 2.5% of attorneys in Southern California each year. View Attorney Jean-Simon Serrano's Attorney Bio Here.

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