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Medical errors and depression may be linked

An analysis of 11 different studies found a link between depression and the likelihood of a doctor making a medical error. The study also found that doctors who made medical errors were at a greater risk of developing symptoms of depression in the future. Depression in medical professionals may lead to negative consequences for patients in New Jersey and throughout the country. It may also have negative consequences for those who may consider themselves to be depressed.

When a doctor makes a medical error, that person may feel guilty about potentially harming a patient. That individual may also be worried that the patient may file a lawsuit. Those involved with the analysis said that doctors should be held accountable for their actions without necessarily being blamed for their errors. Making such a change may help medical professionals and hospitals make greater strides in improving patient outcomes.

Of the previous studies that the researchers analyzed, 82% of them were based on information collected in the United States. Furthermore, 73% of the studies only asked respondents to include incidents that had occurred within the previous three months. Many of the surveys limited their research to individuals who were in training or in the early stages of their career. Researchers acknowledged that the studies were limited because some asked vague questions or because they relied on self-reporting.

Failing to make a diagnosis in a timely manner or making a mistake during surgery may be examples of medical malpractice. Individuals who are harmed by those who made errors that may have been prevented by exercising greater care might be entitled to compensation. An attorney may introduce medical records or other evidence in court or during settlement talks that in an effort to show that an error could have been avoided.

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