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What Are the Most Common Medical Errors that Occur in Hospitals?

January 5, 2014 R

When most people visit the hospital, they are seeking treatment for an injury or illness. Unfortunately, a visit to the hospital can be more dangerous than the injury itself, as a 2012 CNN report claims that medical errors kill more than 250,000 people per year in the United States. Here’s a look at some of the most common and dangerous medical errors in American hospitals.


The most common type of medical error is when a nurse or doctor fails to properly diagnose a patient. Failing to identify the correct diagnosis can lead to a delay in treatment, which can sometimes have deadly consequences. Unfortunately, emergency rooms are prone to overcrowding. The longer a patient waits in an ER, the more likely he or she will experience delayed diagnosis. One way for patients to speed up treatment is by calling their regular physicians and having them call the emergency room.

Medication mistakes

According to Psychology Today , more than 60% of patients in the hospital don’t receive their regular medication while they are under hospital care. Other medication errors include giving patients the wrong medications or failing to give patients the proper dosage of medication. This includes not only over-doses but also under-doses both of which can cause serious

Acquired infections

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.7 million people acquire infections from hospitals every year. Common hospital-acquired infections include pneumonia, surgical infections, urinary infections from catheters, and bloodstream infections from IVs. These infections often involve very strong forms of bacteria that are resistant to most antibiotics.

If you’ve suffered an injury or illness as a result of improper hospital care, contact Pegalis Law Group at (516) 684-2900. Our Long Island medical malpractice attorneys have been representing seriously injured people and their families for more than 40 years. Additionally, we have the distinction of receiving two of the highest medical malpractice jury verdicts in the state of New York.