What are the Human Costs Of Medical Errors?

Everyone makes mistakes but the human cost of medical errors can lead to serious injury or even death. It’s a fact that those who work in the medical industry can be careless or just plain ignorant when dealing with the lives of others. People should become better informed about the treatment they receive, medications they’ll be taking and any doctors they choose for their own well-being.

Serious Injury or Death

Doctors have been known to provide an inaccurate diagnosis or prescribe the wrong medications to their patients. This could have a serious effect on the way the patient thinks, their emotions and overall behavior. The wrong medication can make the patient’s issue worse than ever. Medical errors can cause disability, serious injury or even death.

Be aware that there is a very human cost of medical errors. The family of the patient may be affected emotionally. They may become increasingly concerned when he/she becomes more ill than necessary. Doctors have performed botched surgeries which can hurt someone for the rest of their life if they’re lucky enough to live through the ordeal.

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Get Educated

Educating oneself about their own health and safety doesn’t mean they have to get a medical degree or spend an excessive amount of time. Instead, look through online reviews about doctors and hospitals. Read medication instructions and side effects. Ask a family member, friend or former patient about their past experiences with potential doctors. Test any doctors by asking them relevant questions. If they don’t answer these it’s best to find one who allows their patients to become more involved in their own medical problems and health. Utilizing common sense when dealing with one’s own health and that of their family is a good start.

The Nation’s Cost

The monetary cost of medical errors is mind-boggling. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, this can be from disability, health care costs, lost household production or lost income. At the national level, preventable adverse events are estimated to be between $17 billion and $29 billion with adverse events being between $37.6 and $50 billion. The British Medical Journal states that research shows medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Ethics in Medicine

A person who trusts a doctor puts their life into his/her hands. Just because someone has a medical degree it doesn’t always mean they’ll do their work ethically. Some doctors desire the attention prestige brings them and may not care how they treat their patients behind closed doors. Medical errors may also occur due to communication problems, technical failures and human problems like poor documentation among many more.

Remember that not every person who works in a medical practice is corrupt. Scan reviews about doctors and hospitals to become more involved in personal treatment. Become better educated, read medication warnings and ask questions because everyone should consider the human cost of medical errors for their own safety.

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