Hospitals are places that everyone goes to seek emergency medical treatment. While the doctors and medical professionals there have the best intentions, things can still go wrong. Medical errors are extremely common in the United States, and are one of the biggest causes for malpractice suits. Medical errors do not happen only in hospitals, but those that stay in a hospital or clinic setting may have a heightened risk for certain errors – especially due to the number of patients, lack of staffing, etc.
What are the Most Common Medical Errors?
- Technical errors. Technical errors are those that often occur during surgical procedures. For example, when a surgeon accidentally cuts an artery, or a patient bleeds to death due to improper protocols and procedures. These errors are extremely preventable and often caused by lack of attention, a rushed surgeon, etc.
- Failure to use tests. There are diagnostic tests that make the task of diagnosing a patient’s symptoms and potential cause easier. However, a physician in a busy hospital setting may forgo important tests, or even ignore those test results and come to their own diagnosis – and when that diagnosis is incorrect, the patient will suffer.
- Delays in treatment. In truth, there are both avoidable and unavoidable delays in treatment. But when a patient’s delay is due to improper testing or misdiagnosis, it is considered malpractice.
- Failure to take medical precautions. Medical staff and physicians need to take extra precautions when administering treatment or even assisting a patient out of bed. When they fail to take medical precautions – such as doing blood work before ordering a dangerous procedure or ensuring a patient is not allergic before prescribing a medication – they are committing malpractice.
- Failure to act on test results. Sadly, some medical professionals will have all of the information they need at their fingertips, but they fail to use it. In these instances, a patient could suffer great harm, endure unnecessary tests and procedures, or even lose their life.
- Inadequate patient monitoring post-procedure. After a medical procedure, there is a responsibility to monitor the patient, whether it is their vitals, checking for infection, or ensuring no adverse reactions to a medication. Unfortunately, medical professionals are often too busy to properly monitor their patients, which can lead to severe injury or death.
- Improper medication or improper dosage. Unfortunately, in a busy hospital, especially an emergency room, it is not uncommon for a patient to receive the wrong medication or the wrong dosage. This can lead to worsened symptoms, dangerous interactions, or even death.
Injured in a Hospital? Contact Horn Law
If you or a loved one was injured while under the care of a hospital, speak with an attorney at Horn Law today. We work as your advocates to protect your rights and ensure hospitals are held accountable for their negligent actions. Schedule a consultation with an attorney at 816-795-7500, or contact us online with your questions.