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Medical Malpractice: Common Errors and Mistakes

Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash


You trust your doctor and other health care professionals to treat you and prevent issues from worsening. If it’s just a regular checkup or you’re undergoing surgery, your doctor’s competency can have a huge impact on your life. Anxiety going into an appointment is normal, and some think that their doctor would not actually let anything happen to them. However, it’s somewhat common for people in the healthcare field to do more additional harm to their patients. Thousands of Americans die every year as a result of medical malpractice. Some medical malpractice errors have a greater chance of happening than others. If you think you might be the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact a specialized lawyer, like a medical malpractice attorney or the best accident attorney in your area.  

Anesthesia Errors

Getting anesthesia is something that many people worry about, as there are a few different ways that it can easily go wrong. Some of these anesthesia errors can also cause severe problems. If the amount of anesthesia being given isn’t carefully being monitored, either too much or too little can be administered. 

If a patient is given too little anesthesia, it could wear off before the procedure is finished, which would subject patients to an immense amount of pain. Patients who have too little anesthesia won’t be able to speak or move, but they will be able to feel everything going on in their surgery. 
Too much anesthesia can also be given by mistake. When a patient gets too much anesthesia, they might experience some small problems like vomiting or a sore throat. Some side effects could be far more severe. This can cause seizures, lifelong physical or mental impairment, brain injuries, and even death.  If a doctor isn’t knowledgeable about a patient’s health history before giving anesthesia, they might give it not knowing that it will cause problems with their other medications or health problems. 

Birth Injuries 

Giving birth can be a stressful time for everyone involved, including the baby. All during a pregnancy, parents are terrified that something may go wrong and harm their baby. Unfortunately for some, the medical staff present at the birth may make a mistake that injure the baby. These could happen on accident, be the cause of misusing medical equipment or result from misdiagnosing a problem earlier. Small birth injuries include scrapes, bruises, and swelling that happens from being born, and can help on their own. Babies might also experience broken bones from going through the birth canal. Some birth injuries could lead to permanent disabilities or might not be present until the baby gets older. 

Misdiagnosis

For most medical issues, especially serious ones, you need to be diagnosed by a doctor before anything can be done for it. Because of this, you depend on your doctor’s accuracy to get you the proper care. If something gets misdiagnosed, it can create more complications if left untreated. This could happen innocently as a misunderstanding, as well. A misdiagnosis can also cause you to get treatment for something you don’t have, which could include unnecessary procedures and medications. If you don’t need these, they could harm your health even more. You might feel like you’ve been misdiagnosed, or realize that your treatment plan isn’t improving anything, in which case you should be open with your doctor and talk to them about it. 

Prescription Errors 

If you’ve been misdiagnosed, you could likely be given the wrong medications, but this can happen even with a proper diagnosis. Doctors might not always take note of what other prescriptions their patients are on and certain medications can become dangerous when they’re taken together. Each patient is different, so they require different dosages, which can be improperly given. Medication that’s being administered in a hospital could also be easily given to the wrong patient. 

Surgical Mistakes

When you’re getting surgery, you completely lose control of the situation and have to rely on the surgical staff to keep you safe. Most surgical mistakes are also errors that never should have occurred if it weren’t for someone’s negligence. When surgeons are closing the surgical site, they could leave behind equipment, which could cause an infection and won’t be immediately noticeable to the patient. Doctors could also neglect to monitor a patient and miss signs like internal bleeding. In some cases, the surgeon might even operate on the wrong patient or the wrong body part. 

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