In 2013, research by The Leapfrog Group showed that medical errors were considered the third leading cause of death in the United States. The 2015 report on Hospital Safety Scores shows that while hospitals have made significant safety improvements, there’s not much improvement in preventing errors, infections and accidents. Frightening statistics for our country! It’s little wonder that malpractice cases are skyrocketing.
Medical Errors Can Have Devastating Health Results
When a mistake is made assembling a car, it’s usually easy to correct at the dealership. Many medical errors aren’t that easy to correct. Mistakes in health care can often create long-term health problems, disability or even patient death. Let’s look at some of the more common medical errors that result in malpractice suits.
Missed Diagnosis: If a doctor initially diagnoses an illness or injury incorrectly, appropriate treatment is delayed. Although the correct diagnosis may come later, a delay in treatment can result in major problems. Think about cancer. Many cancers are aggressive, so any delay in treatment could be fatal. If you were misdiagnosed to have cancer, you could undergo painful treatments that you didn’t need. Whether the diagnosis is wrong or delayed, the patient suffers. It’s no wonder that missed or delayed diagnosis is one of the leading malpractice claims.
Surgical Errors: There are many malpractice claims for medical errors made by surgeons. Wrong implant, wrong material, wrong procedure performed, wrong patient, wrong body part, and the list can go on. My husband was the victim of a surgical error that caused a great deal of pain and suffering. You can read about our journey through malpractice and find information to help you file a malpractice claim in my book, “The Dark Side of Injury”.
Drug Mistakes: Prescribing medications requires expertise and accuracy. Patients react differently to medicines, so monitoring for allergic reactions and correct dosages is essential. It’s also important to document and communicate how to take medications. A side effect of many drugs, especially antidepressants, is suicide. Prescribe it and forget it can and does cause patient fatalities. Like many of the medical errors, some drug mistakes can’t be corrected.
Sometimes, medical errors are blamed on hurried doctors. It can also be lack of training, poor communication, different languages, and kickbacks from drug companies. Regardless of the underlying factors, improvement is still needed. Too many patients still pay the price of medical errors.
At Serenity Health Care, you’ll find that we take the time to discuss your case and answer your questions. Our team of integrative health practitioners works with you to optimize your health.