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What Are the Five Most Common Medical Errors?

February 24, 2020 Pegalis Law Group

What Are the Five Most Common Medical Errors?

When you’re sick and you go to the hospital, you expect to be treated for your illness or injury and restored to better health. However, did you know that medical errors are among the top three leading causes of death in the United States, ranked right behind cancer and heart disease? According to a recent study published by Johns Hopkins University, more than 250,000 Americans die due to medical negligence every year. Representing clients in medical malpractice suits for nearly 50 years has given Pegalis Law Group, LLC unique insights into the most common medical errors. Mistakes happen, but arming yourself with the facts often saves lives.

1. A Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

Although physicians undergo extensive training to diagnose diseases and illnesses, medical misdiagnoses happen more often than you would think. An incorrect or delayed diagnosis may prevent you from receiving the right type of treatment promptly, which can have deadly consequences. Many of our clients are delayed diagnosis cancer patients. You should always be proactive about your healthcare and ask questions when seeking a cause for your symptoms.

2. Medication Mix-Ups & Anesthesia Errors

Medication and anesthesia errors account for as many as 1,000 preventable deaths or severe injuries in U.S. hospitals every day. Whether the patient is given the wrong dose or the wrong prescription, it can result in dire consequences. You can protect yourself by asking questions about every medicine you’re given during a hospital stay and the medications you’re prescribed. Doctors are responsible for analyzing your medical history and overall health to identify possible allergies and harmful drug combinations before administering any medications or anesthesia during surgical procedures.

3. Malfunctioning Medical Equipment

Sometimes medical errors aren’t caused by humans. Malfunctioning medical equipment accounts for many medical errors. Examples that fall under this category include defective or damaged anesthesia and fetal heart monitoring systems and medical imaging equipment, as well as robotic surgery mishaps.

4. Hospital-Acquired Infections

While many hospital-acquired infections aren’t severe and are treatable, some infections have the potential to be deadly. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates as many as 100,000 deaths every year are caused by hospital-acquired infections. Examples include urinary infections caused by catheters, bloodstream infections caused by IVs, and infections that develop around surgery sites.

5. Being Discharged Too Early

Studies have shown as many as one out of every five patients returns to the hospital within a month of being discharged. This is a growing concern, especially among Medicare patients. Whether you were released too early, were given insufficient instructions for follow-up care, or experienced complications such as an infection because you required additional treatment that you didn’t have access to at home, you may have a case for medical negligence.

Your Advocate for Safer Medical Practices in New York & Beyond

Pegalis Law Group, LLC is a New York law firm focused on representing clients suffering from a personal injury or medical error. As advocates for the public for nearly 50 years, we believe education is essential in ensuring safer medical practices and better patient care. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive more updates.