The study is one of many finding similar results. In April 2011, a study released in the journal Health Affairs found that one third of hospital visits will lead to hospital related injuries, and as many as 90 percent of hospital errors are missed by current surveillance systems.
Forty-four percent of the errors identified were preventable, Dorrill said.
But beyond staff education, family members and patients themselves should be educated too, said Ehrenclou, who authored the book, "Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive."
Ehrenclou promised herself she would never again feel uncertain about her role at the hospital as she felt about her mother. Three years later, when her godmother was admitted to a different hospital for complications because of her diabetes, Ehrenclou felt better prepared.
The hospital staff informed her that her godmother received twice the dose of the sedative benzodiazepine, and her body wasn't capable of clearing the medication.
Her godmother also endured bed sores during her seven-month stay. Although her godmother also passed away, Ehrenclou said she became more involved in her godmother's hospital care by asking questions to understand her condition.
"I would've done so many things differently with my mother. I would've gotten a second opinion from a specialist. I would've done research on her disease," said Ehrenclou. "I would've been on top of all of her medications. I would've communicated all of that to her doctors."
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