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Are medical mistakes very common in the United States?

Medical mistakes are terrifying to patients; simple mistakes like misdiagnosing a cold won't be deadly in most cases, but those mistakes are nothing compared to misdiagnosing cancer or failing to treat a patient for a condition like rabies or pneumonia.

When a medical mistake is made, your life can be at risk, which is why many people who suffer from these mistakes reach out to an attorney and go through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Are medical mistakes really that common?

Unfortunately, the answer is, "yes." The medical industry is very large, and there is a variation in the level of treatments that patients receive. That shouldn't be the case, but it is.

How many people die from medical mistakes every year?

Many errors that take place don't get reported, and doctors and nurses can be overworked. It's been reported that around 42 percent of people believe that they have suffered from a medical mistake personally. Around 44,000 to 98,000 people suffer and die from medical errors every year.

How many hospitalizations occur because of medication errors?

Those who don't die from the mistakes can still suffer. Around 2.9 to 3.7 percent of the total hospitalizations each year are a result of adverse medication reactions, which could be caused by mixing medications or prescribing the wrong medication to a patient. On top of that, around 7,391 people died from medication errors; those deaths could have been from mixing the wrong kinds of medications, prescribing a drug someone was allergic to, or simply giving a patient too high of a dose.

Source: Right Diagnosis, "How Common Are Medical Mistakes?," accessed May 13, 2016

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