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Proactive patients reduce risk of hospital mistakes

Worries about medical expenses are common amongst Ohio residents considering voluntary hospital admission. The risks run much deeper than money, however, with an estimated 400,000 preventable deaths each year caused by medical professional negligence. While a medical malpractice lawsuit can potentially help recover monetary damages, it won't turn back the clock on a wrongful death, disability or loss of career opportunity. Patients may benefit from one safety expert's advice.

Nosocomial infections, which is the name for infections acquired in a hospital, are sometimes spread by the failure of nurses and other staff to wash their hands before attending to each patient. An expert at Brigham and Women's Hospital offers three suggestions that can reduce the risk of this and other forms of hospital negligence. A patient has the right to request hospital staff wash their hands before interactions. When the patient is not conscious or groggy, a trusted friend or family member can help with this and other potential hazards.

Hospitals have come under increasing scrutiny for high rates of medical professional negligence. Consumers can now access rating services, like the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score and patient reviews of their care coordinator. While improvements have been made, at least one expert is saying that proactive patients can lessen their risks of personal injury.

Infections are a serious concern in hospital settings where already sick patients may suffer a worsened medical condition or premature death. This is only one of many mistakes that can result in injury and the need for compensation. The estimated number of deaths also include those resulting from wrong-site surgery, failure to diagnose and medication error. Those who know or suspect medical practice in their treatment can seek help from an attorney experienced in documenting hospital negligence and recovering compensation for damages.

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