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Seniors Vulnerable to Medical Errors in Nursing Homes

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Did you realize that preventable medical errors are number six on the top ten major causes of death for people in America. According to a recent report by the American Association for Justice’s recent report entitled “Standing Up for Seniors: How the Civil Justice System Protects Elderly Americans,” hundreds of thousands of Americans, including the elderly living in nursing homes, are killed or seriously injured by preventable medical errors every year.

Our nation’s seniors are particularly vulnerable to medical errors. For example, while representing just 13 percent of the population, senior citizens account for 34 percent of all adverse drug reactions. Also, of the 1.9 million adverse drug effects suffered every year by those in long-term care, 70 percent are preventable! Many of these medical errors are not just the result of mistakes by doctors and other medical personnel, they are caused and exacerbated by hospital administrators who, often putting profits over people, fail to make necessary changes they deem too costly.

Examples of Such Abuse

One such example of this was in Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut. It was plagued by infections caused by poor hygiene, poor habits on the part of doctors and nurses, and inadequate facilities. Bridgeport’s faulty ventilators filled the air with dust and flies buzzed ominously overhead during open-heart surgery. Doctors and nurses wore non-sterile clothing and often failed to wash their hands. Due to these medical errors, as many as 22 percent of surgical patients came out with infections.

One such patient was Gloria Bonaffini who went into Bridgeport for routine heart surgery. She was supposed to be home within a week, but she never left. Due to medical errors on the part of the hospital, Gloria contracted a staph infection inside her sternum and spent more than a year in the hospital before she eventually died. Gloria’s case was no fluke — she was one of many.

Cost concerns may be behind hospital’s refusal to implement necessary changes like the ones responsible for the death of Gloria Bonnafini, but nursing home neglect attorneys are working to address this issue. Litigation allows patients to seek justice for their injuries and helps systemic problems such as these come to light. In the Bridgeport case, the hospital’s sanitary and facilities problems only surfaced after the lawsuit was filed. Lastly, the civil justice system encourages providers and hospitals to institute patient safety systems that help prevent negligent medical errors. In the case of Bridgeport Hospital, suits on behalf of patients killed or injured by preventable infections prompted hospital administrators to initiate a $30 million renovation. The hospital upgraded its air filtration system and hand washing stations. It also made changes to staff practices, such as prohibiting doctors from wearing scrubs home. These improvements made an enormous improvement to infection rates — from 22 percent of cardiac surgery patients to nearly zero.

What to do if you or a loved one was the victim of a medical error?

If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of a preventable medical error, you should seek legal advice from an elder abuse lawyer. Call 800-259-6373 to speak with your best friends in the legal industry. If you want to know your rights; want to know what your case is worth; want compensation; want justice; would you like to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to other patients? Call today. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.

Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing victims of medical malpractice since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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