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1 million injured in hospitals each year

Errors on the part of hospitals, doctors and other healthcare providers affect more than 1 million people each year. Hospital errors can be physically disabling but they can also have serious mental consequences for the victims and their families. Many victims suffer relationship problems, sleep patterns and depression. Patients from Ohio to Kentucky and elsewhere who have suffered from medical errors now have a new voice through a Facebook group.

The psychological symptoms after a hospital or doctor error are similar to those displayed by people who have been sexually or physically abused. Victims expected to be safe with their doctors; instead, they found that they were harmed. This can lead to extreme stress, mental anguish and ultimately to psychological problems such as depression.

Victims may also experience physical symptoms such as insomnia or headaches. They may turn to drug abuse or other harmful activities. Some victims blame themselves, believing that they somehow contributed to the circumstances that resulted in the medical error. Health care providers can also experience guilt and depression after losing a patient or realizing they have made an error that resulted in harm.

Victims who have suffered physical or emotional damage from a hospital or healthcare provider error may be entitled to collect damages for both their physical and mental suffering. These victims may benefit from discussing their cases with a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney may be able to assist the victim in filing a claim against doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers who are responsible for the error.

Source: Pro Republica, "When harm in the hospital follows you home," Olga Pierce, March 21, 2013

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