No foreseeable cure for doctor errors

CNN estimates that medical errors now hold third place as the leading cause of deaths in America. The doctors who led the study cited claimed that there are 251,454 annual deaths caused by medical errors. Due to the prevalence of plastic surgery in California, in addition to medical surgery, it is reasonable to conclude that residents in the Golden State perhaps account for a lion’s share of those numbers.

What is worse is that another CNN article indicates that there is no cure in sight. In fact, CNN further estimates that every American will get a late or incorrect diagnosis at least once in their lifetime. The consequences of this may range from trivial annoyances to death. Some of the most common forms of medical errors include the following:

  •          Fake doctors
  •          Accidental baby mix-ups
  •          Waking up during surgery
  •          Lost patients at nursing homes
  •          Forgetting surgical tools inside the patient
  •          Performing surgery on the wrong person or body part

While there may be no immediate cures for problems like these, some suggestions have been made to pave the way forward. One consideration is to conduct autopsies when patients pass away to see if they died of the same condition for which they were being treated. Secondly, data management could assist doctors with pinpointing the average accuracy of their diagnoses.

These may seem like simple enough recommendations, but implementation has been waning over the years. One big reason for this might be cost. For example, an autopsy may cost $1,275. As a result, one much less expensive solution health care facilities can employ is to help patients to feel comfortable enough to speak up, ask questions and verify all information provided to them.

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