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How prevalent is hospital malpractice in the United States?

People who seek medical care from a hospital likely expect to receive the best care possible for their condition. Those patients don't expect to be harmed simply because they need medical care. Interestingly, some patients do suffer from harm when they seek medical care from a hospital. Our Kentucky readers might find some of this information shocking.

How prevalent are hospital errors that harm patients?

Each day, more than 1,000 patients will die because of hospital errors that could be prevented. Overall, as many as 440,000 patients die each year from infections, injuries, accidents, and errors in a hospital. There is a chance that the patients will suffer harm instead of dying if the hospital makes an error. Even these numbers are staggering. One out of 25 patients will get a hospital-acquired infection that could have been prevented. Medicare patients have a 1 in 4 chance of death, harm, or injury while in the hospital.

What should I do if I notice an error while I'm in the hospital?

You should report the error immediately if you notice it. It is important to be respectful while bringing up your concerns, but you should make sure that your safety is put first. You can talk to a person who is a neutral party, such a patient advocate or someone in the customer service department. Additionally, you should keep notes about the error.

When errors in the hospital lead to patient harm, patients might opt to seek compensation. Knowing the medical malpractice laws in Kentucky can help you to decide how to handle your claims for compensation.

Source: Hospital Safety Score, "Errors, Injuries, Accidents, Infections" Jan. 07, 2015

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