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Nightmarish Stories About Common Medical Errors

October 18, 2021 Pegalis Law Group

According to Johns Hopkins University studies, medical errors account for approximately 250,000 deaths in the United States per year. This makes them the third-leading cause of death among adults, right after heart disease and cancer. While we’ve all probably heard the horror stories of surgical instruments being left inside a person’s body or the wrong limb being amputated, these types of medical mistakes aren’t very common, happening in maybe 1 out of 1,000 surgeries. However, doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals are human and are prone to making mistakes. Below, Pegalis Law Group, LLC examines common medical errors that proactive patients and their families should be aware of to minimize the risk of them happening to you or someone you love when you need medical care.

Hospital-Acquired Infections From Invasive Procedures

Because hospitals use many invasive procedures and devices for modern medical treatments, the risk for hospital-acquired infections has been on the rise in recent years. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and surgical site infections occur more often than you might think.

Occasionally, severe tissue and staph infections are caused when surgical tools are left inside a patient’s body during an operation. There have been several documented cases spanning the country and globe, involving everything from sponges to needles, scissors, retractors, and clamps being left inside patients. Nearly 20% of patients that this happens to sustain a permanent injury, with about 1 out of 20 of these patients dying from this preventable medical mistake.

Wrong Medical Diagnosis or Surgery Performed

Occasionally, a medical professional may misinterpret your test results or inaccurately diagnose your condition. This wrong medical diagnosis could make your medical condition worse and even life-threatening by not treating you properly or delaying treatment until it’s too late. If an incorrect medical diagnosis leads to severe harm or wrongful death and it’s proven that the medical professional failed to exercise the expected medical standard of care, it becomes grounds for medical malpractice.

Is there anything more frightening than discovering that you’ve received the wrong surgery? The wrong operation can lead to additional anxiety, emotional distress, permanent injury or disfigurement, or even death. Even if the mistake is caught and the correct procedure is performed, patients often remain in poor health due to the trauma associated with such a costly medical mistake.

Wrong Prescription or Dosage From Your Doctor or Pharmacy

Drug errors are commonly caused by professional negligence and faulty technology. One of the most common examples is the misuse of antibiotics, which are often unnecessarily prescribed by physicians to treat a variety of ailments. It’s also not uncommon for a person to be prescribed the wrong dosage or to receive the wrong dosage or medication from their local pharmacy. Always be aware of everything prescribed to you, the reasons you’re taking them, and the exact dosages and instructions for taking them safely to avoid harmful drug interactions. There have also been documented cases involving inaccurate conversions for appropriate dosages based upon a person’s height, weight, or age caused by people and technology mix-ups. Occasionally, these mistakes can be fatal, especially when applied to the amount of anesthesia required during an operation.

A Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Champion for 50+ Years

As a New York-based personal injury and medical malpractice law firm, Pegalis Law Group, LLC is dedicated to creating public awareness and more proactive patients. For over 50 years, we have helped countless clients and their families achieve favorable settlements in cases involving medical negligence. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional insights about being proactive about your family’s healthcare.