The healthcare industry has strict rules and regulations in place to govern how medical professionals act and how they keep patients safe. However, medical liability racks up around $55 billion in the US every year, and it’s largely down to avoidable errors. With this in mind, we take a look at the most common medical errors.
Hospitals and other facilities rely on technology to deliver state-of-the-art patient care, but when medical devices fail, the results can be truly devastating including death. A death due to medical device failure is called wrongful death, which can be put together as a lawsuit to file for compensation. However, you’ll need to prove beyond doubt that the device was directly responsible for the death, which is why we recommend hiring a lawyer in this circumstance.
The body is a truly incredible system, but it has a habit of presenting the same symptoms for a whole host of medical conditions. Hospitals run a series of tests to narrow down the potential diagnosis, but often incorrect tests are scheduled or the diagnosis is rushed because the hospital is busy. Regardless of the reason, a misdiagnosis can lead to serious conditions or fatalities, and those responsible should be held accountable.
Inaccurate Patient Records
Medical facilities have to have strict recording policies, especially when it comes to documenting patient care. However, there’s an alarmingly high number of medical error cases where inaccurate records are to blame for a death or life-changing condition. For example, if the wrong information is inputted into a patient’s medical file, then they may end up being treated for something they don’t have – even to the extent of having surgeries carried out for no point.
Slips and Falls
Many patients admitted to hospitals are at serious risk of falling, which can worsen conditions and potentially lead to untimely death. Each at-risk patient should have a safety plan put in place upon arrival, which should be signed and agreed on by the patient or the patient’s family. By having this agreement in place, the hospital covers its back by making sure the service user is happy, but it also makes it possible to prove evidence instead of negligence.
One of the primary aims of medical care is to provide accurate treatments and decrease the likelihood of the patient returning for the same issue. However, in a bid to see and treat patients fast to reduce wait times, some people are discharged early. Although this clears the emergency room, it simply means they’re coming back later with worse symptoms and needing more expensive treatments.
Prescription drugs are great for doing what they’re designed to do. However, if you start taking medications you don’t need, you’ll most likely end up with serious conditions that are often irreversible. Unfortunately, as a knock-on effect of inaccurate records, wrong diagnosis, or simple scripting mistakes, many patients receive the wrong medications.
The medical errors discussed above all appear simple to avoid on the surface, but the reality is much more complex. Remember, if you or a loved one has suffered because of a medical error, make sure you contact a lawyer.