Thousands of people end up in the emergency room every day for various reasons. It is not a choice someone takes lightly, and medical emergencies are not something anyone should ignore. 

We expect quality medical treatment when we do get to the hospital. But, negligence and malpractice is a reality. When it happens, we are left feeling helpless and do not always know what to do next. The aftermath of a worsened injury or even fatality due to medical error requires the help of an attorney. 

Negligence and Medical Malpractice

The definition of negligence is “doing something that a reasonably prudent person in a given situation wouldn’t do, or not doing something that a reasonably prudent person would do in that situation.” 

Comparing whether a doctor provided reasonable care in comparison to what another physician is part of deciding medical malpractice. 

John Hopkins University School of Medicine reported over 250,000 deaths in 2016 due to medical errors. Researchers base their numbers off of those who died of secondary infections or mistakes made by medical staff.

Many argue that statistics, but in reality, it happens and destroys lives. Regardless, do not wait to contact an attorney if there is suspected medical malpractice. Time is of the essence, and medical bills and lost wages add up quickly, and you need an advocate.

10 Most Common Medical Errors

The most common medical error is misdiagnosis. It results in a delay in treatment or the wrong treatment altogether. Both could have deadly consequences.  The lack of diagnosis at all is as fatal. The balance between figuring out what a patient has and does not have is a must to avoid possible malpractice.

Everyone likes to think that doctors have their health in their best interest. But, sometimes, healthcare workers will order treatments that are not necessary. They can lead to injury, worsened health conditions, and even death. 

Like with treatments, doctors sometimes order unnecessary tests and procedures that lead to illnesses and fatalities. Some tests seem harmless. However, CT scans increases the chances of cancer, and the dyes used in both CT scans and MRIs may lead to kidney failure in some patients.  Even blood draws have a chance of infection. By no means does it mean to forego tests, but know the risks and ask if they are necessary.

Another common medical error is mistakes made with medication. Patients who take medicine every day for various ailments are sometimes stopped or skipped when the patient is in the hospital. Even more often, the wrong medication is given to the patient. Both are acts of negligence and can lead to negative consequences.

When we go to the emergency room or end up in the hospital, it is rarely our primary physician that takes over care. The doctor on call responds. Depending on the situation, it leads to receiving medical attention from specialists, too. Uncoordinated medical care becomes a danger, and one we all must keep a lookout for.  Medications that interact, repeated tests and procedures, and different diagnoses are all risks and can lead to medical errors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, hospital-acquired infections affect 1.7 million people every year. The CDC also reports that nearly 100,000 of those cases lead to deaths. 

Malfunctioning devices cause injuries and fatalities inside of the hospital. The safeguards there to protect patients sometimes are simply not present. 

Warning signs happen before major health events when a patient is in the hospital. Sometimes these red flags go missed before a patient gets sicker or even dies. Family members should not hesitate to get a doctor’s or nurse’s attention when it happens. 

The transition from the hospital to the home is hard enough without the worry that it is too soon. But, often, a patient is discharged before it is safe to do so. Be sure to schedule your follow-ups and stick to them. If you worry because there is not one, ask your doctor or specialist questions. When it comes to your health, there is no such thing as a wrong question.

Know Your Rights

Regardless of the reason, suspected medical malpractice and negligence requires compensation. Additional medical bills, potential loss of wages, and long-term care are all expensive and not your fault. 

In the case of death, families should contact an attorney as soon as possible. If a death occurred due to medical error, compensation is a right. Keep paperwork, ask questions, and know your rights so that when you hire an advocate, they are ready from day one to get what you deserve.