Mistakes that occur in a hospital, physician’s office, or any other medical setting are referred to as medical malpractice, specifically if that mistake occurred as the result of the negligence of the healthcare provider. Here are seven common mistakes made in healthcare settings and what to do after a doctor’s error.
Surgeons are one of the most common types of medical professionals sued for medical malpractice because surgical errors are one of the most reported types of medical errors. There are many different types of surgical errors, and the most common ones include:
- Cutting an organ during an operation
- Failing to perform a procedure correctly
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Operating on the wrong patient
This can lead to even more complications, such as paralysis, internal bleeding, or even death.
Medication errors are also widely reported, as they can happen in inpatient settings (e.g., hospitals) and outpatient settings. Examples of medication errors can include:
- Administering the wrong medication
- Giving the right medication at the wrong time
- Giving too much/too little of the right medication
- Prescribing the wrong medication
In the unfortunate event of severe consequences arising from such errors, individuals or their families might find themselves in need of legal assistance. This is where a legal professional for death cases can play a crucial role. Handling cases related to loss of life due to medication errors requires a specialized set of skills and expertise. These legal professionals understand the intricacies of medical malpractice law and can navigate the complexities of such cases. Whether it’s holding healthcare professionals accountable for negligence or seeking compensation for the affected parties, a legal professional for loss of life cases is an invaluable resource.
This error is likely to be caused by any healthcare professional that can prescribe or administer medication to patients, so this includes registered nurses and those who work in nursing homes.
About one in 31 hospital patients get an infection during their stay. Central venous catheters are the main source of hospital-acquired infections of both the urinary tract and the bloodstream. Another source of hospital-acquired infections is from surgeries (at the surgical site). Some of the most common types of infections acquired from hospitals include:
- Escherichia coli (E. coli)
- Staphylococcus aureus (staph infection)
Even though hospital-acquired infections are common, they can be prevented with frequent handwashing and proper PPE (personal protective equipment), appropriate antimicrobial use, and routine disinfection.
Falls are also common in hospitals and other inpatient facilities, such as nursing homes. Each year, up to one million patient falls occur in the U.S., resulting in 250,000 injuries and nearly 11,000 deaths. Some of the most common causes of hospital and inpatient falls include:
- Inefficient work environments
- Nurse and staff shortages
- Poorly lit/obstructive views
- Slippery floors and surfaces
About 82% of patient falls in hospitals happen in the patient’s room, and 47% are associated with toileting-related activities. The elderly and those who have been prescribed psychoactive medications are at the highest risk of a hospital fall.
When a doctor incorrectly reads anX-ray, MRI, CT scan, biopsy, or any other type of diagnostic test it’s referred to as a diagnostic error. This most often results in what’s called ‘failure to diagnose’ (the doctor fails to diagnose a condition shown by the test) or a misdiagnosis (the doctor diagnoses and then treats a condition that doesn’t exist within the patient). This type of error can also lead to a delayed diagnosis, causing a wide range of problems from heart disease to sepsis.
Injuries during childbirth (birth injuries) occur during the labor and delivery process and can range in severity from bruises to broken bones and brain or spinal cord damage. OBstetricians are the most sued when it comes to healthcareprofessionals, and birth injuries are the reason why. Common types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy and other types of brain trauma, resulting from lack of oxygen/blood flow to the brain
- Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus), which is when the nerves that run from the spinal cord to the arms are damaged
- Facial nerve palsy happens when too much pressure is placed on the newborn’s face during birth
- Shoulder dystocia occurs when the shoulders are lodged in the birth canal
Birth injuries are often classified separately from medical malpractice, and there are birth injury lawyers available for help.
Anesthesia mistakes are also common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits. Anesthesiologists are usually guessing how much anesthia to administer to a patient because it isn’t an exact science. They must determine how much to give based on the age and weight of the individual, and also the type of procuedre being performed. Too much anesthesia can result in death, while too little may not be affecive and the patient can wake up during their surgery.
In Illinois, the statute of limitation for medical malpractice is two years after the incident. So if you or a loved one believe that medical malpractice occured in your care, contact a personal injury lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice.