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Surgical errors could cause pain for Maryland residents

Any Maryland resident that follows news coverage may be aware of surgical errors that take place. These can be both costly and expensive for those involved. While often thought to be rare, a recent article about one specific hospital shows that surgical errors are actually on the rise.

Some of the errors listed in the article ranged from anesthesia in the wrong leg to a case in which a guide wire had been left inside a patient's vein. Although it was mentioned these cases weren't as serious as amputating the wrong limb for example, any error can cause extreme pain and suffering for the victim and the victim's family. Some errors can have long term or even lifetime side effects.

Although tougher laws have been put in place, errors still occur and at times still go unreported. This dates back to 1999 when what was considered a groundbreaking report stated that many preventable deaths were occurring as the result of preventable errors. As our medical technology as continued to improve, so have the medical laws. It has also been reported that because of the number of surgeries that take place in doctor's offices and outpatient facilities, the need for the laws has proven to be necessary.

Any Maryland resident that feels they may have been the victim of an error may want to look into their rights under the applicable state laws. Surgical errors that cause a victim mental or physical anguish may entitle the victim to monetary compensation as reimbursement for damages sustained. By knowing a person's rights, they can determine the best way to move forward with any action that may be warranted.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Hospitals report more errors during surgery and procedures; focus shifts to outpatient setting," Liz Kowalczyk, July 7, 2013

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