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Hospitals may keep secrets about mistakes

Franklin readers probably have had to deal with a minor medical mistake at some point in their lives. Most people do. But what would you think if you found out that your hospital was keeping a number of mistakes quiet while you suffered from them? Have you ever wondered why a medication suddenly changed or was stopped when it was otherwise helpful or said to be working? These might be the kinds of things that hospitals don't want you to know, according to a recent report.

According to the report, one of the major secrets that medical providers keep is medication mistakes. It could be something like a mismatched dose or the wrong drug completely. Unfortunately, some medical mistakes like this can kill, and that's why it's important to check your pills before taking them. It was discovered that hospitals cover up these mistakes up to 98 percent of the time, according to a study from Johns Hopkins University.

Another error you might not hear about is that a doctor who is still in training may not let you know, and there is no universal way to know if the doctor is a medical student or a full-fledged physician. Another quick problem you might not have known about is how dirty the hospital, and your physician, may be. One in twenty patients develops an infection that could be caused by the lax hygiene of hospital personnel, according to the CDC, so, it's okay to ask your doctor to wash his or her hands. According to a study by Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the hospital staff members failed to follow hand-washing guidelines as much as 60 percent of the time.

Fortunately, if you're patient and choose to look out for your own welfare, you may be able to prevent medical mistakes or hygiene issues from having an impact on you. However, if you're injured due to one of these reasons, it may not be a bad idea to look into the local medical laws.

Source:, "8 secrets your hospital keeps" Cindy Kuzma, Sep. 29, 2013

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