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A recent report out of Ohio has discussed the hidden epidemic that takes the lives of over a thousand people a day; it’s not a disease, virus or other harmful substance. In fact, it’s simply medical mistakes. Medical mistakes are considered to be the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

The kinds of mistakes that take place vary; in one case mentioned, a man’s father died due to an atomizer being found in his lungs after a procedure. The son is now suing the hospital for an error that resulted in his father’s death. After investigating, the news following the story found that more deadly medical mistakes take place than you’d think. In Ohio, the hospitals aren’t required to report the mistakes to the state, making it harder to keep track of the mistakes that happen around the state.

The Ohio Patient Safety Institute asks facilities to report deadly mistakes, but it’s not required. Why? Many of the mistakes are subject to lawsuits from patients and their families, which means they aren’t at liberty to be discussed or shared with the public. Because the numbers are voluntary, it can be hard to understand just how many mistakes are happening in hospitals.

Taking the wrong medications, being infected with preventable infections and getting the wrong diagnoses are all kinds of errors that lead to patient injuries and deaths; without clarity from the hospitals, it’s nearly impossible to know how often these mistakes happen in Ohio. If you’ve been hurt due to a medication error or other mistake, the law is on your side. Speak up; you may be able to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.