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  • National Patient Safety Awareness Week

    March 10th through 16th marks this year’s annual National Patient Safety Awareness Week, a public health campaign that raises awareness about healthcare safety. Supported by the Center for Patient Safety (CPS) and sponsored by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, or IHI, this year’s theme is Safer Together. Safety experts at the CPS selected this year’s themePatient safety week because it emphasizes the importance of safety throughout the entire healthcare team, from the providers and support staff to patients and their loved ones.

    How Do Medical Mistakes Happen?

    According to recent data from Johns Hopkins and the Risk Management Foundation at the Harvard Medical Institutions, approximately 795,000 Americans die or suffer permanent disabilities each year due to preventable medical mistakes. The researchers found that about three-quarters of serious medical harms occur in conjunction with infections, cancers and vascular events. Here are some of the researchers’ other pertinent findings:

    • Stroke, sepsis, venous thromboembolism, pneumonia and lung cancer account for nearly 39% of all medical harms
    • Across all diseases that the researchers looked at, the overall average error rate was 11%. The rate, however, varies widely. For example, the overall average error rate for heart attack is 5% whereas for spinal abscesses it is 62%
    • Stroke was the top cause of serious medical harm stemming from misdiagnoses. Researchers found an average error rate of 5% in cases

    Medical errors most regularly result from misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, surgical errors, anesthesia errors, birth injuries and failure to treat. According to the CPS and IHI, the top seven patient safety issues in healthcare are the following:

    • EHR (electronic health records) information safety and integration
    • Hygiene and the spread of infections
    • Staffing ratios and burnout
    • Antibiotic resistance
    • Opioid addiction
    • Physician burnout
    • Drug and medical device shortages

    Preventing Medical Errors

    The agencies that spearhead the campaign say that some of the most effective and meaningful steps the healthcare system can take towards bettering patient safety outcomes include:

    • Building and fostering a safety culture
    • Leading and supporting staff members
    • Integrating risk management activities
    • Promoting reporting
    • Involving and communicating both with patients and the public
    • Learning and sharing safety lessons
    • Implementing useful solutions to prevent harmful outcomes

    When medical providers forget or fail to take seemingly simple steps, like maintaining the cleanliness of a patient’s room or practicing proper hand hygiene, it can — and far too often does — make the difference between life and death.

    When to Contact an Attorney

    Although some medical mistakes are unavoidable, others occur when a doctor, hospital, or medical provider is negligent and causes harm to a patient. These types of mistakes, or medical malpractice, occurs when a provider or medical facility fails to follow their own professional standards of care, causing injury or death. At Galfand Berger, our attorneys have tirelessly fought on behalf of victims of medical malpractice for decades. Here are just a few examples of our firm’s recoveries:

    • Failure to call a code blue in Our client’s heart stopped while she was in the hospital, but because the hospital delayed in responding properly to this life-threatening emergency, our client suffered a severe and irreparable brain injury. Our attorneys reached a $2,100,00.00 settlement on behalf of our client and her family. You can read more about this recovery here:

    If you have questions or concerns about a medical-related injury, illness, or disability or death, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.

    Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)