When you need medical attention, you reasonably expect doctors and nurses to know what they are doing. Unfortunately, medical errors may occur at any given time since medical mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the USA, a developed nation.
The following are only some of the most common mistakes medical professionals at a doctor’s office, hospital, or other health care facility can easily make.
1. Prescription Errors
Sometimes, you might need a prescription to make you feel better or to fight off an illness. However, prescription errors are among the most common errors in the world of medical mistakes and can usually be easily prevented with a little attention to detail.
Some of the ways that prescription errors occur include:
- Writing the wrong prescription
- Giving the wrong dose
- Not writing legibly
- Not paying attention to possible adverse reactions to medications.
There could be issues with mislabeled drug packages, which wouldn’t be the doctor’s fault but could still result in an adverse reaction to the medication given.
When you talk to a doctor or medical professional, you should offer details about any allergies that you may have. If the provider doesn’t pay attention to the details and prescribes a medication that could cause a reaction, this would be an error.
And if the health care professional broke the standard duty of care through his or her negligence or incompetence, they can be slapped with a medical malpractice lawsuit by the injured party.
However, to protect doctors, most states have set in place damages caps for such cases, which is why it is best to talk to an experienced lawyer first, like this Minnesota personal injury attorney, to see if your case is worth pursuing.
2. Preventable Infections
There are many ways that you can get an infection from a medical procedure or while staying in a hospital. If you have open wounds or the doctors or nurses don’t use the proper safety equipment, then it could result in an infection.
Also, hospital-acquired infections are a growing problem as more and more germs have gained antibiotic resistance. Two common examples are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile. Unfortunately, many patients’ health deteriorates rapidly when contracting a hospital-acquired infection, with some of them ending up being diagnosed with conditions much worse than their initial diagnosis.
3. Botched Surgeries
When you have surgery, the doctor usually marks the correct area on your body so that there are no mistakes. If your doctor fails to do this and operates on the wrong side, limb, or body area in general, then it would be a medical error.
Another common error associated with surgery is removing the wrong organ. Using equipment that isn’t clean is also a common medical mistake, which may result in an infection or serious complication if not corrected.
4. Misdiagnosis, Delayed Diagnosis
After providing all the information about your symptoms, your doctor should be able to put everything together to give you a correct diagnosis or order more tests.
Sometimes, symptoms might overlap and be associated with a few different conditions. However, if your doctor pushes your symptoms aside and gives a wrong diagnosis or doesn’t pay attention to test results, then you are the victim of medical error.
5. Equipment Malfunction
Medical equipment that is used during procedures or during treatments can sometimes malfunction. Not all instances of medical malfunction are caused by the product manufacturer’s negligence.
Medical facilities are required to routinely perform maintenance checks of all of the equipment that is used, and if the facility hasn’t checked the equipment, then they could be held at least partially liable for resulting patients’ injuries.
6. Lax Supervision
When you are in a hospital or medical facility, you need to be supervised. If you are not the patient, then you may expect that your sick family member is supervised in the proper way. Medical errors may also occur if the patient is left alone and he or she gets hurt, or their condition worsens.
A seriously ill patient shouldn’t be left in a hospital bed for long periods of time without someone checking on them as bedsores, and other conditions could develop. When patients are left alone, it’s usually considered neglect and can lead to serious charges if something bad happens to the patient.
Lax supervision and neglect are rampant in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which can have horrible consequences when paired with other medical mistakes like prescription errors or abuse.