The number of mistakes occurring in hospitals is quite shocking. In fact, a new study has shown that medical errors are considered the third leading cause of death in the country, and these errors result in approximately 250,000 deaths every year.
Because of gaps in hospital reporting requirements, these numbers could actually be much higher.
There are some hospital errors that fall under the umbrella called “never events”. These things include situations like leaving something inside a patient after a surgical procedure, operating on the wrong patient, or on the wrong part of the body of a patient.
The Most Common Medical Mistakes and Errors Seen in Hospitals Today
Some of the most common medical mistakes include:
- Medication errors: According to information from the Institute of Medicine, it is estimated that errors with medication result in the harm of approximately 5 million people every year. This includes prescribing the wrong medication to a person or giving an improper amount to a patient, which can result in allergic reactions or an overdose.
- Blood transfusions: A study that was conducted in 2011 showed that approximately 60 percent of all red blood cell transfusions that were done in the United States were not appropriate. The over-use of blood transfusions can significantly increase the risk of disease, infection and even death.
- Infections: One in every 25 hospital patients are considered at serious risk to contract an infection, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control. This may be the result of a nurse or doctor not washing their hands properly, or because of the use of unsterilized equipment.
- Excessive amounts of oxygen administered to premature babies: There are some cases where a physician administers oxygen to a premature baby to help with breathing. However, too much oxygen can actually have adverse effects – including blindness.
It has been concluded by Health Affairs that one in every three patients who are in a hospital will experience some type of adverse event. This is quite an alarming statistic when you consider that most of these events are able to be prevented.
Understanding Cases of Medical Malpractice
Cases of medical malpractice, which is also called medical negligence, occur when an anesthesiologist, nurse, doctor or physician doesn’t meet the accepted standard of care, which results in harm to a patient. This may include misdiagnosis, mistakes in the emergency room, medication errors, anesthesiology mistakes, surgical errors and other incidents. These actions may result in serious spinal cord or brain injuries and may even cause death. There are three key factors to prove medical negligence has occurred, which include:
- Showing that the harm the patient suffered resulted from the healthcare provider’s negligence
- Showing that the healthcare provider did not provide reasonable care for the given situation
- Showing that the patient suffered some type of harm
If you are facing a situation where you believe you or someone you love has suffered medical malpractice, you should hire an attorney to make sure you get the information and protection you need. To learn more about medical negligence and your rights, contact a medical malpractice attorney at Badgley Law Group by calling 407-781-0420.