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Medical errors are a leading cause of death in the U.S.

When checking into a hospital in New York for a routine procedure, most people feel confident that they will recover and experience improved health as a result. Unfortunately, according to CNN, there are numerous studies indicating that 200,000 patients or more are killed by medical mistakes each year. Although this is a relatively small percentage of the millions of procedures performed each year, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Even during surgeries where there is a low risk for complications, the variables from one patient to the next make personalized attention from a doctor extremely important. Medical professional negligence may be as simple as the physician’s failure to gather all the information about potential risk factors from a patient. There are also more obviously egregious incidents each year involving medical instruments left inside patients during surgery and wrong-site surgeries. Post-surgery infections during hospital stays are also a significant contributor to the number of fatalities each year.

Adverse events are problematic medical effects that occur as a result of medications or surgeries. According to the Journal of Patient Safety, a review of multiple studies seems to indicate that the number of fatal medical error incidents could be twice as high as the research has estimated, exceeding 400,000. Most experts believe that these harmful outcomes are almost always preventable. Researchers are attempting to raise awareness of this issue in the hopes that the attention brought to these facts will foster an incentive for change through legislation and hospital policies.

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