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Medical errors can be a real danger

It's honestly not something many people probably consider seriously on a regular basis. Despite common fears about going to the doctor or hospital, most people don't really consider that they might come away from treatment with more -- or different -- problems than they started with. According to a study published earlier this year, though, those problems are actually something that should be considered carefully.

According to the study, a quarter of a million people in the United States alone die because of medical errors and injuries every year. That puts medical errors as a leading death cause in the country. In fact, it only comes in behind heart conditions and cancer when it comes to death rates, according to the numbers.

Other surveys have reported similarly frightening figures at state and local levels, though these statistics are not without opponents. Many physicians say that the numbers are inflated or reported in such a way as to increase the ramifications. While this could be true, it's apparent that medical errors and injuries do occur, and they might occur more often than you think.

That doesn't mean you should eschew your medical treatment. A chronic illness or pregnancy might require some type of medical intervention for saving lives or making the process more comfortable. It does mean that you should be aware of what is happening with regard to your medical care and ask questions about each procedure and option.

If you are injured by medical errors -- or you believe your child has a birth injury related to an error -- don't stop asking questions. Consider contacting a legal professional to ask questions about your options for seeking compensation.

Source: Triage Business Journal, "New estimate finds 'medical error' is third leading cause of death," Jason deBruyn, accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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