When a doctor makes a mistake, it can result in a serious health problem or even death.

A startling number of medical errors are, in fact, preventable

As reported by Northwest Cable News, mistakes made by hospital staff members are now more than ever accessible for all to see. In fact, some mistakes made by hospital staff members in Washington are now available online.

The unfortunate events are actually organized in a searchable database, making it easier for individuals to tailor the search to specific hospitals, or even specific employees. The convenience of this compilation is due to a suggestion made by the Association of Health Care Journalists. The AHCJ believed that such a database would generate a greater sense of transparency.

Although mistakes by hospital staffers are often reported for various reasons, the U.S. center for Medicare and Medicaid is now required to release all reports of such hospital incidents. Consequently, the database will only contain hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid payments.

Medical errors: An all too frequent event

Of course, there are undeniable risks associated with all medical procedures. Even with ever-advancing technology, there is no guarantee that a medical procedure will be successfully performed. In fact, the risk associated with medical procedures will never be eliminated, as a risk provoking element will forever be present: human error.

The most common medical mistakes are rather obvious errors, such as leaving an object in the patient’s body, operating on the wrong part of the patient’s body, and even operating on the wrong patient. Such mistakes are often the result of human oversight, or even carelessness.

Recently, a study published by the medical journal Surgery supports the contention that medical mistakes happen too frequently. In fact, the study shows that an average of 500 medical mistakes are made annually.

Although this statistic is already quite startling, the figure may actually be under-reported. The data presented in the survey was generated using information only from paid malpractice claims.

Mistakes can have consequences

The delicate nature of the medical industry makes precise care essential. Given the high stakes on the line-an individual’s life-no mistake is too trivial.

When an individual is injured as a result of the carelessness of a medical professional, the patient and the family can all suffer. When a loved one has experienced a medical mistake that impacts the family, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help.