Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Medical Mistakes Can Be Fatal

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Errors in medical treatment, diagnosis and medication result in close to half a million deaths a year in this country.

These medical errors are the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. These errors are blamed on hide-bound medical theories, lack of up-to-date information, laziness, stubbornness and stupidity, unskilled staff, system failure, and just plain honest mistakes. All doctors are human, and the long-known tenet still holds true – to err is human.

Figures on the number of deaths resulting from medical mistakes vary widely because views vary widely on just what is a medical error. One reason for the discrepancy in the number of medical-error deaths is that physicians, funeral directors, coroners and medical examiners rarely note on death certificates that human errors and system failures may be involved.

Proponents of medical safety point out patients can take steps to protect themselves.

Ask questions. 

Ask about the benefits, side effects and disadvantages of a recommended medication or procedure. Get a second opinion from another doctor: A good doctor will welcome confirmation of his diagnosis. Bring in an advocate. Sometimes it’s hard to process all the information by yourself. Take a family member or friend to your appointment, someone who can understand the information and suggestions given and ask questions.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 2, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Health

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