Preventable adverse events cause an estimated 44,000 to 98,000 medical error deaths in U.S. hospitals each year. Unfortunately, this massive number represents many patients and their families paying the ultimate price for a preventable mistake. 

Medical errors happen every day, resulting in significant added healthcare costs, disability, loss of productivity and wages, mental and physical pain and suffering, and sometimes wrongful death

Whether you have suffered because of a medical error and are searching for the root cause, or you want to prevent medical mistakes from happening in the future, this guide will help you learn the most common medical errors, why they occur, and what you should do about them.

Five of the Most Frequent Medical Errors Patients Experience

When dealing with the healthcare system, it’s vital that you educate yourself so that you can advocate for yourself or a loved one. To help you do just that, here are five common ways medical errors occur.

1. Medication Problems

Common medication errors can include anything from failing to investigate or notify the patient of drug interactions to prescribing the wrong dose or the wrong medication altogether. These types of medical mistakes can have real negative effects on a patient, causing other serious symptoms and medical complications that would not otherwise be present.

2. Diagnostic Mistakes

When something goes wrong with your health, it’s important to get a timely and correct diagnosis through diagnostic testing so that a doctor can begin working on the issue right away. 

Sometimes, doctors fail to use the correct diagnostic test or act on the test results they receive, resulting in a delay. Other times, they misinterpret them, leading to misdiagnosis. These medical errors in healthcare can lead to long-term damage as well as additional mistakes due to treating a patient with the wrong information.

3. Healthcare-Associated Infections

Healthcare-associated infections are those that come about while a patient is receiving medical care in a hospital, surgical facility, or end-stage renal care facility. These infections often have preventable causes, such as medical staff not employing proper handwashing techniques or improperly sterilized surgical tools. 

These infections can also be due to bacteria accumulation on invasive medical devices like catheters and ventilators.

4. Premature Discharge of the Patient

Patients are sometimes discharged from the hospital or emergency room before they are medically ready. This can result in them having to deal with issues that can only be properly addressed at the hospital. Whether the doctor misjudged a patient’s condition or the hospital wanted to increase profits, this type of behavior is wrong.

5. Surgical Blunders

These types of errors fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice and are more common than you might believe. 

There are a wide range of possible mistakes that can happen before, during, and after surgery, including:

  • Performing procedures that don’t need to be done
  • Bad surgery outcomes because of poor planning or technique
  • Accidentally leaving things inside the patient
  • Making a mistake while giving the anesthesia before surgery
  • Not monitoring a patient after performing surgery

Some of these can cause brain damage, permanent disabilities, or lead to death.

Healthcare Mistakes Have Serious Consequences

One of the worst things about you or a loved one experiencing a medical error is the added mental pain and distress of knowing the medical problems you have gone through or now live with did not even have to happen.

With medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., healthcare professionals must be held accountable for their mistakes so that it doesn’t have to happen to another person.

On your end, make sure you always ask questions, and don’t be afraid that you are upsetting the medical professionals when you do. Those questions can truly save you from a lifetime of preventable medical issues.

Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm For Help Today

If you or a close one have suffered from medical malpractice in Atlanta, GA, please call Malone Law Medical Malpractice and Severe Injury Lawyers at (770) 390-7550 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation today.

Malone Law Medical Malpractice and Severe Injury Lawyers

2 Ravinia Dr NE
Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30346