We tend to put doctors on a pedestal and believe they are infallible. However, they are only human, and unfortunately, medical errors are more common than we would like to think.
These errors can have severe consequences for patients, ranging from minor complications to life-threatening situations. As a patient, it’s essential to be aware of some of the most common medical errors so that you can advocate for yourself and your loved ones. Here are a few to know:
1. Medication Errors
Medication errors are among the most common medical mistakes, such as a patient receiving incorrect medication or dosage, or it may be a contraindication. Those are drugs that should not be prescribed to patients due to various factors, such as potential drug interactions or medical conditions.
2. Surgical Errors
Surgical errors can range from minor mistakes, such as leaving a surgical tool inside a patient, to more critical errors, such as operating on the wrong body part. These errors can be caused by miscommunication, inadequate preoperative planning, and fatigue among medical staff.
Diagnosing a patient with the wrong condition or disease can lead to incorrect treatment and have severe consequences for the patient’s health. Various factors, including a lack of communication between medical professionals, inadequate testing and incomplete medical histories can cause misdiagnosis.
Hospital-acquired infections can come from bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other pathogens, leading to serious complications, prolonged hospital stays, and even death. They usually occur due to a lack of hand hygiene, inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, or improper use of antibiotics.
Medical errors are a sobering reality. In some cases, they may be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit if the error was caused by negligence or malpractice by the healthcare provider. Experienced legal guidance can help you learn more.