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How multiple factors can lead to medical malpractice

Many medical malpractice cases do not happen because of only one issue. There are many checks and balances in the system that are meant to catch mistakes. However, when multiple issues all work together, they can lead to errors.

For example, there was one case where a surgeon was supposed to operate on a woman's finger, which was stiff. He did operate on the right person, and he did the correct procedure, but he accidentally operated on the wrong hand.

A lot of different factors all came into play, including:

-- The patient did not speak any English, but just Spanish.-- The hospital did not have an interpreter, though one staff member knew Spanish and tried to assist.-- At the last second, the patient had to be moved from one operating room to another.-- That room had a distracting array of clinical computers.-- The staff was changed at the last second, as well.-- One nurse thought that site checks had been done, but they had not.-- The surgical team was behind schedule with other surgeries.-- The stress level was high due to the scheduling issues.

If there had been fewer issues happening at once, perhaps the problem would have been caught in time. However, the hospital can be a chaotic place, with a lot of stress and many people moving around, so these situations do occur.

If you have been harmed in some way by mistakes that were made in the hospital, regardless of the factors that contributed, you may be able to seek compensation in Illinois.

Source: Kevin MD, "The malpractice system doesn’t improve patient safety," Kevin Pho, accessed March 24, 2016

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