Medical and Surgical Errors in Massachusetts

According to a recent study published by the state health department, medical errors in Massachusetts rose by an astonishing 60% in 2015. According to the data, full-service hospitals in Massachusetts disclosed that 1,313 medical errors occurred in 2015 where a patient was either harmed or suffered death.

Out of the disclosed errors, 26 of those errors involved surgical errors, 51 were due to instances where a medication either caused severe injury or death and another 446 cases involved contaminated medical equipment or devices.

As one example of how these errors can cost lives or cause serious harm, in April of 2015, the Baystate Medical Center notified over 500 dialysis patients that there was a potential for infection following a state inspection which revealed overcrowding and other unsanitary conditions in the dialysis unit including, potential cross contamination with machines used on patients with Hepatitis B.

In a separate study at the Massachusetts General Hospital, an estimated 45% of all surgeries from 2013 to 2014 were found to have had drug errors. These errors included mislabeling of drugs and medications, and other instances of medications that were ordered but were never given to the patient.

It is important to note that the above studies did not account for patients receiving outpatient care in their doctors’ offices.

Medical and surgical errors can have harmful consequences and can even result in death.  At the law office of Curran & Desharnais, P.C., our Boston medical malpractice attorneys provide experienced, aggressive representation for people who have been injured due to surgical errors and other medical errors.

If you or a loved one believe you have suffered injuries or harm as a result of a medical error or medical negligence, call a Massachusetts Medical Negligence Attorney today at the Law Office of Curran & Desharnais, P.C. at 781-277-3262 to discuss your rights.

Our initial consultation is always FREE and we do not get paid unless we are successful in getting you compensation for your injuries.

Tips to Avoid Being a Victim of Medical Negligence

Here are some suggestions or tips that have been provided by doctors to help patients avoid becoming a victim of a preventable medical error:

  • Make sure you select a doctor who will answer all your questions and concerns.

  • When preparing for a surgery, patients should ask their surgeon about her/his experience in performing the operation that they are about to receive including: how many have they done and what complications or risks can be expected. Ask what procedures or protocols are followed to prevent errors.

  • Do not be afraid to get a second opinion before deciding to go forward with surgery.

  • At the hospital, be sure to ask about the medications they are giving you.

  • Personally meet your anesthesiologist and ask about the steps that will be taken to avoid errors. Be sure the physician, rather than just a nurse, is giving you your anesthesia.

  • Review your medical records. Your doctor’s office probably has an electronic health record with your health information and latest visit note. You have the legal RIGHT to get all of your medical records and know what is in them.