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Son honors father's work to reduce risk of medical malpractice

Some parents hope that their children will carry on their work after they are gone. One son is attempting to honor his physician father's work in improving the lives of patients and reducing the risk of medical malpractice through diligence. Arizona residents may not be aware of the numbers of patient deaths that are attributed to these avoidable mistakes.

This man, a 33-year-old filmmaker, was a teenager when his father died from cancer. He recently completed a film that highlights the dangers posed to patients from possibly fatal errors in health care. His father was one of early directing members of what is now referred to as the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The son's documentary takes its name from a report issued in 1999 that stated that an estimated 98,000 people die from medical errors annually.

The recent statistics supplied by the Centers for Disease Control place alleged malpractice as the third leading cause of death, with approximately 440,000 patients dying every year. The documentary, which took about three years to finish, includes interviews with professionals in the health care field, and it also highlights changes in medical training and includes the story of one family who experienced mistakes firsthand. Along with the sobering statistics of fatal mistakes, the film spotlights other preventable errors such as hospital acquired infections and surgeries on the wrong body part.

Along with the tragic story of a family who lost a loved one to misdiagnosed cancer, it features improvements that are being made in how future doctors are being taught to quickly recognize serious complications in order to prevent possibly fatal consequences. Doctors are also being taught to provide patients with information concerning a possible mistake sooner. The film will be screened at medical centers across the country first. Arizona residents who believe that they or a loved one has suffered harm due to suspected medical malpractice may seek compensation for their financial losses through the civil justice system.

Source: philly.com, "With a documentary on medical errors, a son carries on his physician father's legacy", Marie Mccullough, May 3, 2018

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