What Causes Medical Errors?

When you visit a doctor’s office or go to a hospital for surgery, you depend on health care professionals to keep you safe and healthy. Far too often, however, patients are injured by the very doctors and hospitals they trust with their lives. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety says that between 210,000 and 440,000 people die every year to due preventable medical mistakes.

This is a shocking number that makes anyone pause and wonder what types of errors are happening.

Operating on the Wrong Part of the Body

It is unbelievable to think a physician would actually operate on the wrong side of the body or remove or amputate the wrong body part. Tragically, it does happen. Sometimes called “wrong site surgery,” this mistake actually occurs about 40 times every week in hospitals across the country. In some cases, doctors have even operated on the wrong patient. Experts say these errors can be reduced or eliminated by improving quality and emphasizing a culture of safety in hospitals.

Medication Errors

Hospitals and doctors’ offices are busy places. Most likely, you have experienced an appointment that was rushed – you may have even felt like your health care provider didn’t really take time to listen to you. When doctors and other providers dispense medication in a rush, they can make serious and even fatal errors. According to the National Academy of Medicine, medication errors harm 1.5 million patients every year and cost taxpayers $3.5 billion annually.

Failure to Diagnose

Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing a patient can also cause serious and fatal harm. The National Center for Policy Analysis states that between 10 and 20 percent of patients are incorrectly diagnosed. Out of 583 diagnostic mistakes, 28 percent were life threatening.

Hospital-acquired Infections

Hospital-acquired infections are a growing threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 25 patients die every day due to a hospital-acquired infection. The most common reason for hospital-acquired infection is improper sanitation procedures among health care professionals. This means an otherwise healthy person can enter a hospital for a routine procedure and end up dying due to an infection that could have been prevented with better safety and hygiene protocols.

Hartford Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you have suffered harm due to a medical mistake, or you have lost a loved one due to a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence, it’s important to get help from an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. Please contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Appleton & Appleton today at (860) 246-5481 to discuss your situation and any potential recovery. You can also reach us through our online contact form.