Medical translation is a crucial language service that can save lives and improve the quality of life. From pioneering research and emergency surgeries to dealing with chronic illness or taking an aspirin for the smallest of headaches, #medical document translation has a positive impact on the lives of everyone.
On the other hand the poor quality of a medical translation can cause irrevocable damage.
The real story bellow will be used to outline how harmful the lack of professional medical translation services can be.
Florida, 1980. One of the most controversial and talked-about misunderstandings in history related to medical translation services took place with important consequences. A poisoned patient, a nonqualified medical interpreter, and a Spanish-English gap led to an unhappy end.
Willie Rodríguez, an 18-years-old patient, was admitted to a hospital and entered unconscious. His Cuban family had English linguistic difficulties, so they explained – in Spanish – the situation in the emergency room. They said that Willie was “intoxicado”, which means “poisoned” usually by something one has ingested. A bilingual employee wrongly understood that the patient was “intoxicated” and as such Willie was treated for intentional drug overdose instead of intracranial haemorrhage. The real problem remained unknown for 2 days, resulting in quadriplegia.
Willie’s family started a law suit for this tragic event. The Judge declared that this fateful mistake could have been avoided with quality translation services. The hospital had to pay $71 million dollars for liquidated damages.
One wrong word completely changed Willie’s life forever.
Medical documents translation is a specialist service and you should therefore only work with a translation agency with proven experience in this specific medical niche.
Correctly translating medical documentation helps people to correctly use medication, devices and other products, allows for important information to be clearly understood in every language and thus reduces the risk of errors, misunderstandings and miscommunications in a field where accuracy is essential.
The primary aim of medical translation is to maximise the quality of health services for everyone and help Healthcare organisations and medical providers thrive. However, the consequences of translation errors couldn’t be higher for patients or healthcare providers and companies, so consistent accuracy is essential.
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