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Think medical errors are being addressed? Think again

If there was a serious accident and 1,000 people were killed, you would assume it would be thoroughly investigated. You'd expect that the cause of the accident would be revealed and sweeping changes would be made to prevent future incidents.

Now imagine that little is done to address the accident and it happens 200 more times that same year, taking the lives of more than 200,000 people. It seems highly unlikely that this would happen, right? Unfortunately, this appears to be the case with medical errors. 

According to a recent report by the Institution of Medicine, the number of medical errors that result in death has gone up dramatically in the last 15 years. The increase, according to the study, is due in large part to failed or absent policies and laws that do not protect patients.

It is not possible to prevent every single error. After all, doctors, nurses and other medical staff members are humans capable of making mistakes, and complications can and do arise during any medical treatment. But the fact that an estimated 251,000 people die as a result of medical errors annually is very troubling and suggest more needs to be done to address the situation.

The report from the Institute of Medicine suggests that policymakers and those in the healthcare industry are not doing nearly enough to protect people, publicize investigations and hold the appropriate parties accountable. Because of this, accidents and mistakes continue to happen at an alarming rate.

Until more is done to address the systemic issues contributing to thousands of preventable errors, patients and their families will continue to be exposed to preventable medical mistakes.

If you or a loved one is among those who have been hurt or killed as a result of a medical mistakes, you are not without options. You have the right to take legal action and file a medical malpractice claim. Doing so can help you collect damages and assign liability to those who are responsible.

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