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A mother's mission to reduce treatment errors

One mother is working to have a new health care law introduced in the coming year. After losing her beloved child, she is now hoping to reduce treatment errors and other preventable patient deaths. The law is to be introduced in a different state, but she hopes to have federal laws changed as well, which could benefit patients and families in Connecticut.

The story actually begins at the end of one young life. The mother lost her 11-year-old child after she had been in the hospital following a surgical procedure. That evening following the surgery, the girl went into respiratory failure caused by pain medication. Had the child been placed on a monitor for her breathing rate, her death may have been prevented.

Now, several years after this tragic loss, her mom is fighting to ensure that no other family has to endure such a senseless loss. Various agencies have reported recently, that anywhere from 200,000 to more than 390,000 patients have died due in part to errors in care or treatment. Studies have apparently proved that continuous monitoring of patients after surgery could possibly prevent the need to revive patients by more than 45 percent.

The intended goal of this woman is not to raise the cost of medical care, but to raise the quality of care. There is some resistance expected from the healthcare community, but it remains to be seen what the outcome of Leah's Law may be. In the meantime, possibly the best advocate for patient care may be the patient and his or her family. For those in Connecticut who believe they or a loved one has been a victim of treatment errors or similar mistakes, they are entitled to file a medical malpractice claim against any physician or medical facility they believe may have caused or increased their physical pain and suffering.

Source: Forbes, Leah's Law: A Mother's Mission to Save Lives, Robert J. Szczerba, Nov. 19, 2013

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