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Have you been the victim of a medical mistake?

At some point or another, nearly everyone ends up in a doctor's office or hospital. When an individual is ill or stricken with a serious medical condition, he or she must rely upon doctors, nurses and other medical specialists to provide answers and recommendations related to a diagnosis and the best strategy for overcoming related health problems.

While the vast majority of doctors and nurses are caring and conscientious professionals, many also face mounting pressures within their respective fields and workplaces that can negatively impact their ability to deliver optimum, or even adequate, care.

The 1999 report "To Err is Human" sent shockwaves throughout the medical community when it revealed that every year, nearly 100,000 people die as a result of medical mistakes. Since that time, more recent studies have concluded that the actual number of patients who die each year because of medical errors could be as high as 440,000.

In today's competitive health care environments, there's growing concern that a focus on profitability often trumps or comes at the expense of patient care. When the focus is on seeing as many patients in one day as possible, doctors simply aren't able to spend enough time with each patient which may lead to diagnostic errors.

For registered nurses, who are often on the front lines of patient care, complaints about being overworked are common. Nurses point to high patient-to-nurse ratios which leaves them running from patient to patient and feeling frazzled. Additionally, nurses are often forced to work long shifts and overtime hours which can lead to extreme fatigue and burnout.

From injuries and harm suffered due to a misdiagnosis error to those that result from surgical mistakes, individuals who have suffered physically and financially due to a medical error are advised to speak to an attorney.

Source: Beckers Hospital Review, "The Top 10 Challenges Facing Healthcare Workers," Rachel Fields, April 5, 2016

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