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Medical Errors Make the U.S. Top 3 Cause of Death List

On Behalf of | May 29, 2018 | Personal Injury Law |


According to the results of a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, fatalities due to medical mistakes have been on the rise in the last few years. Preventable failures in healthcare are now in the top three causes of death in the U.S. A report summarizing the findings points to medical errors as being a factor in more than 250,000 deaths every year, though some reports show figures to be as a high as 440,000. Many more victims are injured every year due to treatment issues, leaving them to deal with enormous medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. There are numerous mistakes healthcare providers can make during the course of a patient encounter, but some of the more common scenarios may entitle a victim to recover losses in a medical malpractice claim.

Errors in Diagnosis 

There are the primary categories of mistakes with a diagnosis. A physician may:

  1. Fail to diagnose a medical condition;
  2. Make a proper diagnosis, but only after a delay; or,
  3. Diagnose the wrong medical condition.

Any of these errors can lead to severe injuries or death for a patient, particularly where proper medical treatment would have solved the health issue. Delays in making a proper diagnosis are especially critical when they involve cancers that may become terminal. With an inaccurate diagnosis, providers may force a patient to undergo unnecessary treatments, drugs, or procedures. 

Insufficient After Care 

The period of time after a surgery or medical procedure are crucial because this is when infection is most likely to set in. Patients may also suffer injuries if they have reactions to a prescription or are not given proper instructions for recovery. 

Prescription Mistakes 

Errors in issuing prescriptions can be very dangerous, as they may have negative interactions with other drugs or with a patient’s condition. Mistakes with dosage or not properly reviewing a patient chart before writing a prescription are common. 

Surgical Errors 

Horror stories often make the headlines about a surgeon leaving a clamp or sponge inside patient after stitching them up; worse, a physician may operate on the wrong body part – or wrong person entirely. Some of the more common surgical errors do not make the news, but they include situations where a doctor severs a nerve or artery, or fails to plan for inevitable complications that arise in the operating room.

Complications from Anesthesia 

There can be serious problems for a patient undergoing surgery if the anesthesiologist delivers too much or too little medication. A patient is also at risk if the doctor does not sufficiently monitor vital signs, or fails to identify medical issues in the chart that could lead to dangerous situations during surgery.

Get Legal Advice from an Experienced Ocala, FL Medical Malpractice Lawyer

For more information about medical errors and other signs of malpractice, please contact Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law at 352-558-8480. We can schedule a free consultation at our Ocala, FL office to discuss your legal options and answer questions about your potential medical malpractice claim.