When mistakes occur in medical facilities, people may quickly go from routine to severe injury or illness. Medical malpractice is not something to take lightly.
Going to the doctor should not be a scary prospect. Knowing the standard of care and how the medical industry operates is one way to understand how you may become a victim of medical mistakes. If you find yourself feeling worse after visiting a doctor, you may suffer from one of the following four common medical errors:
1. A breakdown in communication between the medical team
Whether in a hospital, clinic or practitioner’s office, doctors rarely work without the assistance of other medical team members. Nurses, physician’s assistants, other doctors and the like all work together to care for patients. When these members fail to communicate effectively, or there is a lack of communication concerning a patient, further injury may result.
2. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
Some symptoms turn up in multiple illnesses. For example, chronic headaches may present in an array of medical diagnoses. When doctors fail to accurately diagnose a patient or continue writing off symptoms and/or do not present a diagnosis, patients may suffer. In some instances, diagnostic tools, like MRIs or mammograms, may not produce clear results, and a doctor may read them wrong.
3. Surgical errors
Every year, people undergo surgical procedures ranging from routine outpatient procedures to life-saving operations. Errors during and after surgery may lead to further injury or even death. Common surgical mistakes include:
- Leaving instruments inside patients
- Negative reaction to anesthesia
- Incorrect/Improper removal
- Incision infection
- Compromised sanitation
4. Dispensing the wrong medication or dose
In medicine, there exists checks and balances in charting to ensure patients get the proper care throughout treatment. Even with this system in place, mistakes happen, including dispensing the wrong medication or giving medication in improper quantities. If a patient is allergic to a particular medication, it may have disastrous consequences.
You know your body and health better than anyone, even your doctor. If a doctor or medical professional has treated you and you feel like something is wrong, it may warrant further investigating.