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Medical errors the nation's third-most common cause of death

As an Ohio medical patient, you probably feel relatively confident that when you visit your doctor and outline your symptoms, he or she will be able to determine what is ailing you and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Regrettably, however, physicians make mistakes, too, and when they make medical errors, the repercussions can prove gravely serious. At Klein & Carney, we recognize the harm delayed, inaccurate or missed medical diagnoses and other errors can cause, and we have helped many people who suffered harm due to medical errors pursue appropriate recourse.

According to CNBC, medical errors are so common nowadays that they are now the third-most common cause of death among Americans. Furthermore, about 250,000 Americans lose their lives every year because of medical errors, although some believe the real number of annual deaths related to medical mistakes is closer to about 440,000. Why the disparity? When Americans die, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention get cause-of-death information from death certificates. However, death certificates rarely acknowledge medical errors, making it tough to determine accurate numbers.

So, what can you do as a patient to increase the odds of receiving an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment from your doctor? Safety advocates recommend that you take several steps. First, do not be afraid to ask your medical provider as many questions as you have about your condition, symptoms and so on. You can also conduct some research of your own, but be wary of believing everything you find online.

Second, anytime you receive a serious diagnosis or a recommendation for a serious medical procedure, secure a second opinion before moving forward. Third, consider bringing an advocate along with you when you receive treatment, and particularly if you feel stressed or fearful at the doctor. This person may be able to better articulate your questions and fears, helping you gain clarity about your condition while assessing your doctor's confidence in your diagnosis or recommended course of treatment. Find out more about wrongful death on our webpage.

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