It’s pretty easy to trust anyone with the title of doctor. After all, when you consider the cost of healthcare and the salaries that some medical workers enjoy, it’s obvious that physicians have to meet some pretty high professional standards! Having said that, doctors and other medical professionals can and do make mistakes, which can sometimes have serious consequences. Here are some of the most common medical errors everyone should be aware of…
Incorrect or Late Diagnoses
Inaccurate and delayed diagnoses are one of the most common errors made in the healthcare sector. When a doctor misdiagnoses a condition, or fails to diagnose one for far too long, the patient can miss out on treatment which could have prevented serious bodily harm, and in some cases, death. These cases make up a pretty significant proportion of the work handled by law firms like Ankin Law Office. In a lot of instances, these errors are caused by misunderstandings, freak occurrences and special circumstances. However, there have also been a lot of cases caused simply by a doctor’s incompetence. If a skilful and reasonably competent doctor would have acted differently under the same circumstances, the doctor may be guilty of some pretty serious charges.
Medication errors harm millions of people in the US and other western countries every year, and these can occur in a number of ways – from a physician writing out a prescription in the first place to the admission of a certain drug in a hospital. Patients can be harmed by some medication that a doctor prescribes to treat a misdiagnosed condition, or admin blunders can lead to patients receiving medication that was intended for another patient. However, these are relatively infrequent compared to dosage errors. Doctors can write an incorrect dosage while filling out a prescription, or the pharmacist or nurse could administer the incorrect amount. Sometimes, the equipment used to administer a drug can be faulty, and cause a large dose of medication to be administered to a patient over a dangerously short period of time. Defibrillators with faulty batteries and intravenous pumps with dislodged valves are common examples of this.
Becoming an anesthetist takes a lot of work after the standard qualifications that other hospital physicians have to achieve, and there’s a good reason for this. Mistakes in administering anesthesia are among the most dangerous medical errors that occur, and while they’re very rare, the consequences are often dire. Anesthetists sometimes fail to look through a patient’s medical history thoroughly enough for potential complications, or neglect to inform the patient of the risks if pre-operative measures aren’t taken, for example, not eating for a certain period of time before going under the knife. Errors can also occur during surgery, with patients being given too much anesthesia, or doctors failing to monitor their vital signs closely enough. Again, as with some medication errors, faulty equipment is sometimes at the root of the issue.
Although these medical errors are very rare, it’s important to be aware of them whenever you’re going in for any kind of treatment.