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Understanding Medical Mistakes in the United States

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Health care in the United States is often touted as among the best in the world. However, recent studies have shown that American health care has a dark secret. According to a famous study published in British Medical Journal (BMJ), medical errors could be the third-leading cause of death in the country. In fact, the Johns Hopkins researchers who conducted the study suggested that only heart disease and cancer kill more people in the United States each year. The study estimates that 251,000 U.S. patients are killed by preventable medical errors annually. Another study cited by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) estimates the number of deaths is almost twice as high.

What Are Common Medical Errors?

Medical errors can occur in any health care setting. There are also many types of medical errors that can befall patients. Common medical errors include:

  1. Diagnostic errors. There are several types of diagnostic errors. For instance, your doctor could confuse one diagnosis with another. In other cases, your doctor may get the diagnosis correct after a significant period of time has passed. Diagnostic errors are one of the most common medical mistakes.
  2. Surgical errors. With surgical errors, a doctor may operate on the wrong patient. Surgeons may also leave behind equipment after surgical procedures have concluded. There are many instances of surgical sponges being left behind in patients. In other cases, surgeons may operate on the wrong body parts.
  3. Medication mistakes. Nurses, pharmacists and other health care practitioners could prescribe you or a loved one the wrong type of medication. Another common medication error is to prescribe too high or too low of a dose. Finally, there are also cases where medications are administered incorrectly.
  4. Patient supervision errors. Patients who are receiving inpatient care can be affected by supervision errors. For instance, health care practitioners must closely supervise patients who are at high risk of falling or succumbing to infections. If these patients are not supervised, they can suffer major harm.

Much more can be said about medical errors. There are many types of medical errors this blog does not cover, so you should continue to follow our blog and Facebook for future updates.

Was My Medical Error Medical Malpractice?

Patients or their family members may be able to file medical malpractice claims for medical errors. However, it would depend on the circumstances. Certain criteria must be met for a claim to be filed. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to a medical mistake, then you should contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Compensation from a medical malpractice lawsuit can help pay for injuries or losses associated with common medical errors.

About Our San Diego Medical Malpractice Law Firm

Our San Diego medical malpractice lawyers have experience handling medical malpractice claims involving catastrophic injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can reach us by calling (866)335-1860 or using our online case review form.

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