Medical malpractice is every patient's worst nightmare. Perhaps you have heard that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. You're nervous even to set foot in a hospital. This is a place where your health should be in the best possible hands, but does it actually put you in danger?
It can. It is important to understand precisely what types of medical mistakes are made so you can know what warning signs to watch out for. Below are a few key examples.
- Providing the incorrect medication: In some cases, medications get switched between two patients. In other cases, medical professionals simply confuse two different medications when providing care. Patients often have no idea what the pills should look like and just accept that what they are given is correct.
- Doing surgery on the wrong site: Perhaps the most extreme example of this mistake is when an amputation is necessary. A doctor who reads the charts incorrectly could amputate someone's left arm when the right arm was supposed to be amputated, leading to the eventual loss of both limbs.
- Allowing infection to set in after surgery: Medical professionals may be negligent in cleaning the room, their hands or their equipment. In some cases, infection can be far more serious than the original ailment.
- Getting the diagnosis wrong: In some cases, doctors mistake one disease or illness for another. In other cases, they tell a patient he or she is fine when treatment is actually necessary.
Have you been injured due to medical negligence? If so, you must know what legal rights you have to seek financial compensation.
Source: FindLaw, "Common Examples of Medical Negligence," George Khoury, accessed April 20, 2018