No one likes to think about the possibility of being injured by a hospital error. After all, when we go to the hospital, we’re entrusting our lives to the staff. We expect them to exercise a high degree of care, and for the most part, they do. But sometimes, errors do happen. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to understand your rights.
Experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyers will be able to evaluate your case and advise you on your best course of action. Don’t wait; get started on protecting your rights today. Here are seven of the most common hospital errors:
Wrong-site surgery is one of the most common and serious errors that can occur in a hospital. It occurs when a surgeon or other medical professional performs a procedure on the wrong body part or organ. This can have devastating consequences for patients, leading to pain, suffering, and even death.
Thankfully, there are steps that hospitals can take to prevent wrong-site surgery from happening. For example, they can ensure that all surgical instruments are properly labeled and that surgeons double-check the intended site of surgery before proceeding. Hospitals can help protect their patients from this potentially deadly error by taking these precautions.
Medication errors also make the list of the most common types of errors that occur in hospitals. In fact, according to a recent study, medication errors account for more than 7,000 deaths each year in the United States.
Both patients and healthcare providers can take steps to help prevent these errors from happening. Patients should always list all their medications and dosages. They should also be sure to ask questions if they don’t understand something about their medication or how it should be taken.
On the other hand, healthcare providers can help prevent medication errors by double-checking orders and taking extra care when administering medications.
While many factors can contribute to a delayed diagnosis, some of the most common include:
- A lack of communication between different medical specialists
- Failure to order the appropriate tests
- A misreading of test results
In some cases, a delayed diagnosis can be harmless. However, it can lead to serious health complications or even death in other cases. For this reason, hospitals and medical professionals must take steps to prevent delayed diagnosis.
One way to do this is to ensure that there is clear communication between all members of the medical team. Another way to prevent delayed diagnosis is to order the appropriate tests and to review all test results carefully.
A study by Johns Hopkins found that radiology errors account for more than 4% of Americans dying from hospital errors. That may not sound like a lot, but considering the millions of patients seen in hospitals every year, it adds up to about 250,000 people harmed by these mistakes.
Sometimes the error is made by the radiologist who misinterpreted the images. Other times, it may be due to a failure in communication between the referring doctor and the radiologist. And sometimes, the error is simply due to human error.
No matter how it happens, radiology errors can have serious consequences for patients. Sometimes, the error may lead to a wrong diagnosis and unnecessary treatment. In other cases, it may delay the diagnosis and treatment of a serious condition. Either way, radiologic errors can majorly impact patients’ health and well-being.
Also known as bedsores, pressure ulcers occur when constant pressure on one area of the body cuts blood flow to the tissues. This typically happens when patients are confined to bed for long periods without moving around much.
To prevent them, hospitals often use special mattresses and cushions that relieve pressure on vulnerable areas. Patients should also try to move around as much as possible to keep their blood flowing properly.
Blood clots can form when patients are immobile for long periods, causing dangerous blockages in veins and arteries. Hospitals often give patients blood thinners to prevent them from moving around frequently.
Patients should also let staff know if they experience any blood clot symptoms, such as pain or swelling in the legs or shortness of breath. By talking to Chicago medical malpractice lawyers, you can learn more about your rights if you’ve been injured due to hospital negligence.
Falls are one of the most common injuries in hospitals, and they often occur because patients are weak and unsteady on their feet. Hospitals typically take measures to prevent falls, such as placing rails in patients’ rooms and providing non-slip footwear. Patients should also inform staff if they feel dizzy or unsteady to receive assistance.
Preventable Medical Error Causes
Medical errors are sadly all too common. A study by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine estimates that medical errors kill more than 250,000 Americans each year—making medical errors the third-leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer.
Many different factors can contribute to medical errors, such as:
Effective communication is one of the most important factors in providing quality medical care. Unfortunately, communication problems are all too common in the medical field and can lead to errors that can seriously affect patients.
For example, miscommunication between doctors and nurses can lead to medications being prescribed or administered incorrectly. In addition, poor communication among medical team members can result in critical information being overlooked, leading to diagnosis and treatment errors.
To avoid such mistakes, it is essential that everyone involved in a patient’s care communicates effectively and takes the time to understand one another’s roles and responsibilities. When communication breaks down, the potential for errors increases significantly.
Lack of Standardization
From how medical records are kept to how medications are prescribed, there is a lot of room for error when there is no standardization. This can lead to confusion and mistakes being made.
If a doctor prescribing medication does not have access to the patient’s complete medical history, they may not be aware of potential drug interactions. This could lead to serious or even life-threatening consequences.
Lack of standardization can also make it difficult to track errors and prevent them from happening in the future. When there is no clear way of doing things, it can be hard to identify where mistakes are made and implement systems to avoid them.
Improving standardization in healthcare is essential for improving patient safety and reducing the rate of medical errors.
Technology problems are a major contributor to medical errors. In today’s medical landscape, technology is used for everything from diagnosing patients to keeping track of medications.
While technology can help to improve the quality of care, it can also lead to errors when it is not used correctly.
One type of error discussed above is a wrong-site surgery, which happens when a surgeon operates on the wrong body part. This error can happen when surgeons rely on outdated or incorrect information, such as inaccurate X-rays or scanned images.
Talk to Our Attorneys if You’re Injured Due to a Medical Error
Even in the best of hospitals, mistakes can happen. However, by being aware of the most common hospital errors and taking steps to prevent them, you can help keep yourself safe during your hospital stay.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical error, the experienced attorneys at Drake & Collopy, P.C. can help. We understand the devastation these errors can cause, and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.