Medical malpractice can take so many different forms that it can be difficult to understand the various ways in which a healthcare provider can be negligent. One frequent way in which doctors and other healthcare providers can be negligent is by making a medical mistake.
As you might already know, a Johns Hopkins study from a few years ago identified medical errors as the third-leading cause of death in the United States, reporting that hundreds of thousands of deaths are attributed to medical mistakes every year. Yet many of those medical mistakes are quite distinct from one another.
It is important to understand some of the differences among the types of medical errors so that you can take preventative measures, and so that you may know when it is time to seek help from a medical malpractice lawyer. The following are some of the most common types of medical mistakes.
Medication errors are mistakes that involve patient medications. There are a wide variety of healthcare providers who can be liable or responsible for medication mistakes, depending upon the type of error. Those healthcare providers might include, for example, physicians, nurse practitioners, anesthesiologists, and pharmacists. What form do medication mistakes take? There are far too many examples to list them all, but the following are some:
- Physician does not check your medical file and prescribes a medication to which you have an allergy;
- Nurse practitioner does not pay attention to the medicines you are already taking and prescribes a drug that has a harmful interaction with a drug you are already taking;
- Doctor prescribes the wrong drug for your condition;
- Psychiatrist prescribes the wrong dosage of an anti-anxiety medication;
- Pharmacist fills the wrong medication; or
- Pharmacist fills the incorrect dosage of your medication.
Diagnostic errors occur when a diagnosis is not accurate. Diagnostic errors can take the form of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Various healthcare providers may be responsible, depending upon how the mistake occurred.
For example, a laboratory might be responsible if it mixed up your sample with another patient’s sample, and your doctor made a diagnosis based on the wrong sample. Or, your doctor might have read your scan incorrectly and made an incorrect diagnosis, which led to a delayed diagnosis of an ultimately terminal condition.
Many surgical errors, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), are known as “never events” because they should never happen. These mistakes often involve operating on the wrong patient or wrong body part, or accidentally leaving a medical object like a sponge or a towel inside a patient.
Call My Firm to Seek Advice About Your Medical Negligence Case
Medical errors can take many different forms, and as I mentioned above, sometimes patients do not even realize that they have been the victim of a medical mistake until weeks, months, or sometimes even years have passed. It is critical to hold healthcare providers accountable for the mistakes they make.
If you or someone you love suffered serious harm because of a medical error, I’ll Make Them Pay!® I will work tirelessly to help you get the financial compensation you deserve. When you are dealing with significant medical bills and the inability to work, you should not have to worry about financial losses caused by a negligent doctor. Call my firm today at 877.944.4373 to get started on your medical malpractice case.