Common Medical Errors To Know and How They Can Lead to Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

According to a study titled “Your Health Care May Kill You: Medical Errors” published in PubMed.gov, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 251,000 deaths annually. There are thousands of victims of medical errors who have reported their experiences, but, due to general underreporting issues, there are potentially thousands more victims who have stayed silent. The medical malpractice attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. urge victims of medical errors to speak up about their experiences and consult an experienced lawyer who can ensure due compensation for any trauma, rehabilitation, medical bills and other expenses resulting from the medical mistake. 

Below, the medical malpractice attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. detail three of the most common medical errors that can occur so you can recognize if they in fact occurred to you or a loved one. If the doctor in charge of your care acted out of negligence, and their negligence led to a medical mistake, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and pursue compensation for your injuries.

A Misdiagnosis or Delay in Treatment

One of the common medical errors that even the most seasoned medical professionals can make is a misdiagnosis. A medical misdiagnosis can lead to a treatment plan that is inappropriate for the patient’s needs, or it can cause the patient’s actual condition to worsen needlessly. For example, a cancer misdiagnosis could lead to the victim’s cancer worsening, and sometimes it may be too late to reverse by the time the doctor makes an accurate diagnosis. In a 2017 study titled “Americans’ Experiences with Medical Errors and Views on Patient Safety,” 59% of a group of medical error victims said they experienced a medical problem that was not diagnosed at all, was diagnosed incorrectly, or was diagnosed in a delayed manner. 

While simple human error or miscommunication can lead to a delay in necessary treatment for a condition, or a misdiagnosis altogether, it is important to investigate how this mistake occurred and if there was negligence involved that extended beyond a simple mistake or misread. 

Surgical Errors

While an unsettling occurrence, surgeons have mistakenly operated on the wrong body part or performed an incorrect procedure. These scenarios are rare but very serious. There are also documented instances in which a patient experienced abnormal pain, swelling, or an infection post-operation, and it was discovered that the surgical team had accidentally left material like surgical rags or sponges, or even surgical equipment, inside of the body. This has lead to additional surgery to remove the foreign object and repair any tearing or injury that may have occurred. If the medical team in charge of your care performed the wrong procedure on you during surgery or left medical equipment behind in the operation, which led to a perforation or reparative surgery, discuss your experience with a skilled medical malpractice attorney who can represent you in court and recover those needed damages.

Health-Associated Infections (HAIs)

Last but not least, a health-associated infection is a common postoperative or post-medical care condition that can occur in hospital patients. Infections can be acquired during or after medical procedures if proper precautions or sanitizing practices were not taken before, during or after the medical procedures. According to the CDC, one in 31 patients has a health-associated infection. According to Etactics, patients suffering from health-associated infections are five times more likely to return after hospital discharge and twice as likely to die.

Like previously stated, health-associated infections can be caused by a lack of sterilization of medical equipment or tools, the unknown transmission of an infection or illness from medical professional to patient, or even postoperative complications. If you or a loved one has suffered a health-associated infection that led to life-threatening and expensive complications, reach out to the medical malpractice attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. to learn how you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

Your Medical Error May Qualify You to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit to Recover Compensation

If you are the victim of a preventable medical error that caused you physical, mental and emotional harm, the last thing you should be expected to do is pay for expensive medical bills, loss of income and rehabilitation therapies out-of-pocket. The Baltimore-area medical malpractice attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. have a long history of providing exceptional representation to victims of medical malpractice and medical negligence. If you or a loved one is the victim of a medical error that causes you pain and suffering or life-altering injuries, we urge you to reach out to our firm today to discuss your legal rights: call 410.649.2000 or fill out a form here.