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Medical providers rarely disclose medical mistakes

Medical patients in Ohio and across the United States are injured or killed every year as a result of medical malpractice. In fact, malpractice has been called the third highest cause of death in the U.S. A new study by ProPublica of over 1,000 patients has found that when medical errors occur, health care providers often fail to disclose what happened to the patients and their families.

The study looked at the stories of people who had suffered or witnessed harm to a loved one while under medical care. Only one in five of those surveyed stated that medical providers disclosed the mistake. Half of these disclosures occurred when the patient or their family pressed for details about what happened. Only one in eight patients or families received an apology for what occurred.

Medical providers may avoid telling patients and their families what went wrong to avoid legal liability and investigations by licensing boards. When victims of medical malpractice search for answers about what happened, some medical providers may be dismissive of their concerns.

Victims of medical professional negligence may be eligible for compensation. In the case of a fatal medical error, the surviving members of the victim's family may be able to file a claim against the medical provider who was at fault. Medical negligence occurs when a medical provider's treatment falls below the duty of care owed to the patient, resulting in harm to the patient. There are many types of medical negligence, including failure to diagnose, anesthesia errors, wrong site operations and other surgical errors.

Victims of medical negligence and their families may wish to consult an attorney experienced in malpractice cases. An attorney might be able to help determine what happened to the patient and whether malpractice occurred by examining medical records and consulting expert witnesses.

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