You don’t have to be an expert to know that serious and often deadly medical mistakes occur too often when people seek health care.
Estimates place the number of deaths directly related to medical mistakes at approximately 98,000 every year in hospital settings alone. This, by itself, makes medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Most often, we hear about medical mistakes occurring in hospitals, but they can happen wherever you get health care or medication, including doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, and even in the home.
The saddest thing about medical mistakes, however, is that regardless of where they occur, a large percentage of them could have prevented.
A medical mistake is an act or omission made by a medical professional that would have been judged wrong by knowledgeable peers at the time it occurred. A medical mistake can trigger a medical malpractice lawsuit whenever a health care professional fails to provide an industry-accepted level of care to a patient and that patient is seriously injured or dies.
Common medical mistakes that trigger medical malpractice lawsuits include:
Surgical Errors – Surgical errors can occur during any type of surgery from childbirth to amputations, and even during cosmetic surgeries. These types of medical mistakes can happen in a number of different ways, including:
- Making incorrect incisions
- Puncturing vital organs
- Performing surgery on the wrong organ
- Delaying or prolonging surgery
- Using unsanitary utensils
- Leaving utensil inside the patient’s body
Medication Errors – This occurs when a drug is prescribed, dispensed, or administered in the wrong dosage, or when the drug is administered to the patient incorrectly.
Misdiagnosis/Incorrect Diagnosis – Often caused by the misreading of lab results and X-rays, an incorrect diagnosis or misdiagnosis can lead to an illness or condition going untreated for an extended length of time. This, in turn, can allow the illness to ravage the patient’s body and lead to a very poor outcome for the patient, even after his or her illness or condition has been diagnosed correctly and treated.
Not All Medical Mistakes Trigger Lawsuits
The almost 100,000 medical mistakes made each year in the United States account for millions of injuries, increased medical bills, longer recovery times, and adverse medical consequences for the patients they affect.
But, not all adverse medical consequences are caused by medical mistakes, and as such, they are not all grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In fact, it is estimated that only 40% of all adverse medical consequences are due to medical mistakes.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can examine the facts of your case and call upon medical experts to examine your medical records to determine if the adverse medical consequences you have experienced are grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical mistake, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for a consultation. Strict time limits apply to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, so call today.