Each year, 160,000 hospitalized patients around the country die or are seriously injured due to errors made by health care provider. Patients are advised to ask questions and raise any concerns that they may have to reduce the odds of a medical error. Among the top 10 errors doctors typically make, misdiagnosis is the most common. In some cases, this is because a doctor is treating the wrong patient.
If two or more patients have similar names, an individual may get a medication meant for someone else. In fact, giving patients the wrong medication is the third-biggest error made by doctors. Another common error is to perform a wrong-site surgery, which involves operating on the wrong limb or wrong side of the body. Additionally, patients should be aware of any pain post-surgery, which could be an indication of an object left behind after the procedure.
Such errors may occur due to a lack of coordination among the many health care providers who are responsible for treating a patient. Lack of coordination may also lead to over-treatment of a patient, which can be just as bad as failing to treat an issue. Other common problems that patients may experience include receiving treatment in an unsanitary doctor's office or being forced to wait for a long period of time in the emergency room.
Patients who are injured due to doctor errors may wish to talk to a medical malpractice attorney. It may be possible to win compensation for medical bills as well as punitive damages in some cases. If a patient is forced to miss work or is unable to regain employment, compensation may be available to make up for lost wages and future lost earnings.