Common Medical Errors

common medical errors reported in the country

Common Medical Errors

National studies show that there are hundreds of thousands of people that die annually as a result of medical errors; such errors are actually preventable. As a result, medical errors are one of the most common reasons why people lose their lives in the United States. This article will discuss some of the most common medical errors that patients face in the United States.

While medical malpractice lawsuits are a way to receive compensation in the wake of injury or death due to medical errors, it is actually best to know the risks that patients face. By acquainting oneself with the associated risks of medical errors it equips patients with being proactive in protecting themselves and ensuring they receive better health care and thus avoid loss of life or further injury. 

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Some of the common medical errors reported in the country include the following:

  • Prescription medication mistakes – such mistakes include being prescribed with incorrect medication, receiving the correct medication but at the wrong dosage or receiving the correct medication at the right dosage but that is dangerous when used in conjunction with other medicines. Such errors can happen when a pharmacist fails to properly read the doctor’s prescription correctly. Other instances that can lead to such errors are when digital medical records are not used properly or the medical practitioner does not receive the necessary information needed from the patient or other health care providers. To protect yourself from such errors a patient must ensure that they properly explain which medications they are currently using; and this is despite the fact that this information is already on file. In addition, the patient should make a note of the doctor’s instructions, the name of the medication prescribed and the dosage and then verify this information when they receive their prescribed medication from the pharmacy.
  • Dangerous medical devices – each year new medical devices are created in order to help treat conditions, minimize symptoms and help extend the life of a patient. However, with all the good intended by creating such devices, some of them cause harm to the patients that are using them. It has been reported that some devices cause organ problems and result in infections developing in the user. As a result, it is imperative that medical professionals inform patients  of the potential risks associated with using such devices before the patient agrees to use it. 
  • Infections – often surgery is performed in order to correct some ailment suffered by the patient and can prove to be a lifesaving procedure. However, it is not uncommon for patients to develop an infection on the area where the surgery was performed or any other medical procedure carried out. To prevent infections developing on the surgical site the patient requires proper cleaning and bandaging. This task is provided by hospital personnel who are required to maintain the strictest sanitation standards. Unfortunately, other infections may arise in patients as a result of being surrounded by other sick people, such as: 
  • Pneumonia – it’s said to be the second most common infection acquired in U. S. hospitals. Patients have been known to develop pneumonia even though they did not have the condition upon admission into hospital.

Pneumonia under microscope

  • Bloodstream infection – this happens when a catheter is improperly inserted or placed into a patient’s limb, neck or chest. This improper insertion results in infection and can be especially serious if the catheter is placed near the patient’s heart. 
  • Blood clots – because of a number of reasons, it may become necessary for patients to stay in hospital for a prolonged period of time. As a result, they may stay in one position for long periods at a time. Due to being this position for extended periods of time it could result in the patient developing blood clots in their arms and legs. The best way to prevent blood clots from developing is to ensure that the patient is repositioned and to provide medication that prevents the clots from developing. 
  • Foreign objects – according to a Joint Commission report, between the years 2005 and 2012, there were about 772 incidences where surgeons left a sponge, towel, gauze or surgical tool in a patient’s body after stitching the patient up. The result of leaving such foreign objects in the patient can lead to serious infections and in some cases fatalities. 
  • Wrong site or person surgeries – wrong site surgeries are when a patient has surgery on a wrong part of their body. For example, a left knee replacement done on the right knee. A wrong person surgery is when the surgery is performed in the right site but on the wrong person. In as much as these mistakes seem obvious, they are happening.

You may be vigilant but medical professionals still make mistakes, if that happens seek out top malpractice lawyers in Memphis Tn for legal advice and representation.