Getting the right medical treatment can be the difference between life and death. We trust our healthcare providers to provide the care we need when we need it. But sometimes mistakes are made. Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and other medical professionals sometimes commit devastating medical errors that complicate or even end the lives of their patients. Let’s look at six of the mistakes most likely to cause harm.
The numbers can be hard to pin down, but between 40,000 and 80,000 people die every year from medical misdiagnoses. A doctor bases his or her treatment on an assessment of your condition. When the doctor uses poor judgment or is impaired in some way, unnecessary complications and even death can be the result.
#2. Medical Errors Involving Underdiagnosis
Similar to a misdiagnosis, an underdiagnosis happens when a medical professional makes devastating medical errors. If a condition is not diagnosed at all, the patient never gets treatment. If they do manage to get some kind of treatment, it may not be strong enough to fix their disease.
#3. Medication Mistakes
These devastating medical errors can happen on several levels. Sometimes, a doctor prescribes:
- the wrong medication,
- a medication that mixes badly with the patient’s current drug treatments, or
- the wrong dosage.
In addition, pharmacists sometimes fill prescriptions incorrectly. Also, they may use the wrong medication or mislabel bottles. At the patient’s bedside, nurses may mix up a patient’s drugs or administer them incorrectly. All of these mistakes could lead to dire consequences for patients.
#4. Unnecessary Treatment as Medical Errors
One recent study found that healthcare providers performed unnecessary treatments and tests on more than 600,000 people. Not only is the cost to insurance companies and patients astronomical, but complications can occur. For example, a patient might undergo surgery only to learn later there were safer, less invasive treatments. In the past, doctors routinely prescribed antibiotics, whether they were effective or not.
Some devastating medical errors lead to even more serious conditions. For example, hospital staff members have to deal with germs, viruses, and more every day. When proper cleaning protocols are not followed, patients face an increased risk of infections. In particular, people with suppressed immune systems are likely to suffer deadly complications from infections caused because a healthcare professional failed in some way.
#6. ‘Never’ Events
These events should ‘never’ happen and are the most mystifying medical mistakes. However, the medical field has created a list of 29 ‘never’ events that have actually occurred, including:
- Surgery performed on the wrong person or the wrong body party
- Injury or death caused by someone using a medical device incorrectly
- Suicide or attempted suicide while a patient is being treated in a medical facility
- Death or serious injury because a medical professional did not follow up on lab tests
- Injuries and death caused by burns incurred in a health care setting
- Physical assault, sexual abuse, or abduction of any patient
These ‘never’ events are rare but devastating. Medical errors like these may end with the victims or their families receiving some sort of compensation.
Talk to Our Experienced Attorneys If You Have Suffered from Devastating Medical Errors
At the Dailey Law Firm, P.C., our team of skilled lawyers and professionals provide sound and current legal representation that you need. Call us at 844-342-5353 to set up a free consultation or use the Contact Form on our website. There’s no fee for personal injury cases unless we win.
We represent clients throughout the entire United States. You can reach us online or visit one of our offices in Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; or Valparaiso, Indiana.