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Report shows increased medical errors in Minnesota hospitals

When Minnesota residents go to the hospital, they do so expecting to get the proper medical treatment and care to improve their condition. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as mistakes may be made during the course of treatment that can injure the patient, perhaps even worse than the initial condition that brought the patient in for treatment.

It is natural to think that these types of mistakes very rarely happen. In reality, however, the numbers show a different story, as the incidents of doctor error may be much higher than most would believe.

For example, a new report from the Minnesota Department of Health showed that deaths from medical mistakes increased in 2015. There were 16 deaths noted in the Department's annual report, which was an increase from 13 deaths that were reported in 2014.

In addition to the increased number of deaths, there was also an increase in medication errors this year. Some of the top medication errors involved anticoagulants, which is a blood thinner, as well as cardiac medication.

While it is troubling to hear that medical errors have increased over the past year in Minnesota hospitals, each case is different. There are different circumstances involved that caused the error, and different effects on each patient due to the type of error at issue.

When patients have been harmed due to mistakes made by their medical provider, they may have a cause of action for medical malpractice. In the malpractice claim, injured patients can hold the hospital responsible for causing the injury if the error constituted a violation of the doctor's duty of care. Once a patient shows the doctor was negligent, the doctor and hospital involved can be ordered to pay damages to the patient to compensate for the harm that has been caused.

Source: KARE 11, "Report shows medical error deaths uptick," Allen Costantini, Feb. 19, 2016

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