5 of the Worst & Most Common Medical Errors

According to a Johns Hopkins University study, about 250,000 Americans lose their lives each year due to preventable medical errors. Several million more are believed to be injured by such mistakes. There is even reason to believe this number is much larger because the majority of medical mistakes are never reported either to or by the patient.

Just what is causing so much harm to so many people each year? A definitive answer is difficult to place. Numerous reports blame a variety of different medical errors for causing the most harm. However, there is a common thread of medical mistakes that are too obvious to overlook. We examine five of them here.

Diagnosis Errors

Most likely the worst offender of all medical errors is the diagnosis error. Failing to understand what is ailing a patient ensures that the patient will not be treated correctly. As a result, a misdiagnosis can be just as bad if not worse than not diagnosing a patient at all.

Unnecessary Treatment

After a misdiagnosis, a patient may be given dangerous medications or undergo unnecessary surgery, all the while not receiving any care that actually addresses their health issue at its core. Unnecessary treatments can range from benign – like being given medication with no side effects but no benefits – to deadly. The underlying truth is that no matter what an unnecessary treatment does, it should not have been done in the first place.

Medication Errors

Mixing up or not providing medicine is also unfortunately common in medical malpractice incidents. Patients who are hospitalized are rarely given their full dosage of medications that they take at home, either due to unavailability or a lack of understanding about their health conditions. Medication errors can also occur outside of the hospital setting and inside of a pharmacy. If a pharmacist misreads a prescription, then it will very likely jeopardize the health of the person taking it.

Hospital Infections

Needless to say, there are people within hospitals with very serious diseases that may be highly contagious to those around them. Simply entering into a medical center can expose you to those diseases. If you are already sick or injured from another issue, your immune system will be weakened, which only increases the chances of you picking up a potentially dangerous bug when going to the hospital for care.

Inadequate Care & Instructions

Medical teams need to coordinate closely with one another to best treat their patients. This is not always the case, though. They also often need to speak with medical professionals outside of their medical group, which creates an added challenge of receiving proper medical records in a timely fashion. All of this lack of coordination may add up to medical malpractice.

There is also the issue of not coordinating well enough with patients for aftercare treatments. Every patient who is released from medical care will have to do things at home that will continue their care, like staying off a broken ankle or taking medications. Unclear instructions put patients at risk of inadvertently worsening their own injuries or illnesses.

Have you or a loved one been injured by a lack of proper medical care? Get the medical malpractice attorneys of Golomb & Honik, P.C. on your side right away. From our law office in Philadelphia, we assist and represent wrongfully injured clients throughout Pennsylvania.

We look forward to helping you. Call (215) 278-4449 now for a free consultation.

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