Medical errors continue to pose a problem in hospitals throughout the country. Researchers with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report an estimated 200,000 patients are fatally injured every year due to preventable medical errors.
Some of the more common examples of medical errors in hospitals include:
- Misdiagnosis. A medical professional's failure to properly diagnose an illness is one of the more common errors. Without proper diagnosis, the patient cannot receive needed treatment. This can result in serious injury and difficulty treating the patient.
- Medication errors. Medication errors can result from use of the wrong medication or wrong dosage amount. Patients can also suffer serious injury when a medication is mixed wrongly with other medications.
- Infections. Patients can suffer an infection from another medical professional who fails to wash his or her hands before beginning treatment or from the tubing used to insert lines into the patient's body for medication and fluid injections.
- "Never events." These events are those that should never happen in a hospital. Examples include an operation on the wrong limb, air bubbles in intravenous catheters leading to a patient suffering a stroke or a scalpel left inside a patient's body cavity after a procedure is complete.
These are just a few of the more common examples. Additional medical errors can include discharging a patient too early or errors made during blood transfusions.
Patients who suffer a serious injury due to one of these or any number of other medical errors can hold the responsible party accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit. This legal tool allows the patient to receive the funds needed to cover the costs that result from the injury. An attorney experienced in these cases can review your case and discuss your options.