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What Are the Most Common Medical Errors?


How Medical Malpractice Can Affect Patients

An estimated 225,000 people every year die due to medical malpractice, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In fact, it is the third most common reason for death in the U.S. However, only 2% of those who suffer at the hands of medical malpractice file claims for compensation.

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, the team at Belushin Law Firm, P.C. wants to send our deepest condolences and let you know we will do all that is in our power to help you get the justice you deserve. We understand that most doctors and nurses want to provide the best care possible for their patients, and they did not enter their field with the intention to do harm. However, when harm is done, and it affects your livelihood and wellbeing, there are certain cases when you have a right to seek compensation for your losses, and we are here to help you through that process. Some of the most common medical errors that turn into malpractice cases include:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis

Many medical malpractice lawsuits actually arise as a result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition, illness, or injury. A simple misdiagnosis might seem harmless enough, but it can lead to improper treatment, delayed treatment, and lacking the proper treatment entirely. Furthermore, misdiagnosing does nothing to help the actual condition that is occurring, so it leaves patients vulnerable to worsening their current condition.

In order to prove a medical misdiagnosis, we would have to provide that the doctor-patient relationship existed, that the doctor was negligent and that the negligence caused actual injury to the patient. Each one of our cases looks a little bit different, but this is the general format we follow when seeking justice for our clients.

  • Surgical errors

This is one of the most devastating types of medical practice to experience because it can create permanent, drastic, and harmful changes in the body. In order for a surgical error to be considered medical malpractice, the surgeon performing the procedure must have failed to follow the appropriate standard of care, and this failure must be the actual and proximate cause of the harm done to the patient.

Types of surgical errors that can constitute medical malpractice include operating on the wrong body part, damaging healthy organs during surgery, leaving instruments in the body after surgery, making anesthesia errors during surgery, and failing to properly monitor the patient for ongoing issues like an infection or internal bleeding.

  • Medication errors

When we talk about medication errors, we are essentially using a blanket term that can refer to a wide variety of mistakes on the doctor’s behalf. A doctor can perform a medication error simply by writing an incorrect prescription or by actually administering the wrong medicine. If a medical provider gives an incorrect dosage or orders the pharmacy to give an incorrect dosage, they have made a dangerous medication error.

A common, specific type of medication error is an anesthesia error, which is particularly dangerous and can lead to permanent injuries and even death. If a doctor fails to evaluate a patient’s medical history to discover complications, fails to tell the patient about preoperative instructions, administers excessive amounts of anesthesia, places the breathing tube improperly, fails to monitor the patient’s vital signs while they are under anesthesia, or uses defective medical equipment, they have made a medication error. Mistakes happen, but if the mistake has harmed you or put your life at risk, then those mistakes should be amended.

  • Childbirth errors

Mothers who are injured during childbirth due to medical practice usually have one year to file a suit. These suits are particularly upsetting cases because they can involve damage and injuries to both the mother and the baby. Most birth injuries affect the child, but if a doctor does not follow proper protocol during childbirth, the mother will be vulnerable to damage as well.

Some errors that a doctor can make to the mother during childbirth that could constitute medical malpractice include avoiding proper action when it comes to preeclampsia which leads to seizing during delivery, leaving medical equipment inside the mother after a cesarean section, failing to address a uterine rupture or other infection, inflicting damage to the mother’s internal organs, improperly administering anesthesia, and failing to control bleeding.

In these cases, the doctor’s lack of diligence can lead to issues for the baby as well, including birth defects, a prolapsed umbilical cord, anemia, an ectopic pregnancy, and placental abnormalities. Proving negligence on the doctor’s behalf would involve proving that the injury would not have occurred without the doctor’s negligence.

Medical malpractice cases are difficult to win, which is probably why many victims avoid them altogether. Your best chance of winning the case will come from working with an experienced and qualified attorney who is committed to fighting for justice on your behalf. We know that we cannot recover your wasted time and the suffering you endured. However, we can put you in the best position possible to get the settlement you deserve and to experience the satisfaction of standing your ground.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Belushin Law Firm, P.C. are ready to hold local medical professionals accountable for their actions. If you are ready to do the same, give us a call at (888) 918-9890 or contact us online to discuss the details of your case.