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Doctor errors: determining the proper prevention and action

Medical errors due to negligence are an unfortunate commonality today. There are ways to prevent doctor errors, however, and there are steps that can be taken by Missouri residents in the event that they do occur. According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, medical errors are third in line behind cancer and heart disease as the leading cause of death for Americans.

Many medical errors are less conspicuous and are hard to detect. Recently, a medical professor lost his leg due to a medical error that occurred during a surgery he had undergone on his Achilles' tendon nearly 20 years ago. This is a tragic reality in medical error history; many errors do not show up until several years down the road.

When advocating for themselves during diagnoses, patients and their families can adopt one diagnostic approach utilized by a successful doctor. The approach includes looking for every possible diagnosis at the onset of the symptoms. The doctor first explores the possibility of urgent and time-sensitive diagnoses. Next, he looks for uncommon diagnoses. Once ruling out the uncommon or life-threatening possibilities, the doctor considers the common problems that many doctors mistakenly consider first.

Doctor errors can happen every day and may be unavoidable. But the patient does not always identify errors, especially when symptoms crop up much later in the future. Learning what to do in the event of serious illness or injury -- due to mistakes made by doctors -- can be the difference between determining whether it is a medical malpractice case in Missouri. Taking action may result in compensation for the pain and suffering endured at the hands of negligent medical professionals.

Source:, Medical errors happen, so learn what you can do to prevent them, Judith Kleinfeld, Dec. 16, 2013

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