Errors happen in everyday life â€“ including in Americaâ€™s hospitals. Unfortunately, a large majority of those errors lead to serious injuries, pain and suffering, or death. Worse, these injuries are usually preventable just by better communication between patient and caregiver or even the hospital staff. It is important to note that not all errors automatically result in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but if you are injured because of a physicianâ€™s error, you should contact an attorney who specializes in medical negligence to assess your case.
5 Common and Preventable Hospital Errors
Hospitals are a place you go to for emergency care and assistance when you are sick or injured. While hundreds of patients are cared for each day, there are some that leave with errors in their treatments. Five of the most common and preventable errors that have been seen include:
- Medication Errors â€“ This is by far the most common error seen in hospitals. From giving the wrong medication to providing the wrong dose to a bad combination or reaction of medications, medication errors are increasingly common. It is estimated that 1.5 million individuals suffer from medication errors. Sometimes these errors occur because physicians do not take proper histories, while other times patients fail to articulate their medications to their caregivers. These errors are not just done on the physicianâ€™s level either â€“ pharmacists, nurses and other hospital staff can make these errors.
- Excessive Blood Transfusions â€“ This is a surprisingly common, yet preventable hospital error. Red blood cell transfusions are common in the United States and often unnecessary. In some cases, it has been said that blood transfusions can increase the risk for death and diseases.
- Too Much Oxygen â€“ This occurs with premature infants. While oxygen is needed, too much can actually cause damage. Giving oxygen to premature babies requires care and too much oxygen can lead to blindness. Proper guidelines at hospitals for oxygen can help prevent these injuries.
- Hospital Infections â€“ Hospitals and healthcare providers are required to follow proper sanitation guidelines, but that doesnâ€™t mean they will eliminate all chances for hospital-acquired infections. These infections are often life threatening or can turn fatal. Handwashing is one of the more proper ways to stop the spread of these infections as well as sanitizing stations for caregivers throughout hospitals. When healthcare providers take the time to wash up between patients, they can prevent the accidental spread of infectious diseases. Also, properly sanitizing equipment in between patients will help reduce the likelihood of a disease spreading.
- Central Line Infections â€“ Central lines are used for all types of medical cases, but they are also a breeding ground for serious infections. These infections often become life threatening and are preventable just through proper hand washing and sanitization.
Were You Injured by a Hospital Error? Contact Horn Law
If you were injured by a hospital error, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Horn Law. We can assist you with your case and help file a claim against the hospital or facility responsible for your injuries. Call us for a no obligation consultation at 816-795-7500 or fill out an online contact form with your legal questions.