Unfortunately, medical mistakes are not rare in New Jersey. One report indicates that approximately 30 percent of medical malpractice filings are based on a diagnostic error. Another source reports that in 2017, 95 surgical procedures were performed on the incorrect patient, on the incorrect part of the body or were the wrong procedure entirely.

These reports may be deeply concerning to those in Burlington County seeking medical treatment or needing to undergo a surgical procedure. A new documentary explores how medical mistakes negatively affect those who suffer them, along with the medical culture that permits the occurrence of these errors. The documentary stated that medical mistakes can occur when health care professionals are fatigued or when they do not adequately communicate with one another. However, the documentary also noted that the health care industry often does not hold medical professionals responsible for the errors they make when treating patients.

According to some studies, almost 70 percent of hospital-acquired infections are preventable with property hand washing. However, medical professionals do not always wash their hands before treating a patient. In addition, during shift changes some medical professionals fail to share with one another essential information regarding a patient’s care.

It is clear that more transparency and accountability are needed in the health care industry. Medical professionals are human, and thus will make mistakes from time to time. However, when these mistakes could have been prevented if the medical professional had upheld his or her duty of care, causing a patient to suffer a worsened condition, the patient may want to determine if they can file a medical malpractice claim against the responsible party. Doing so may not undo the mistake but may at least provide the victim with the financial resources needed to move forward.