Three Common Medical Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Medical mistakes are a leading cause of death in the United States. Even the best health care practitioners in the best facilities can make mistakes.

Hospitals and other medical environments tend to be fast-paced and efficient, but you should never be afraid to question your health care provider regarding treatment or any concerns you have. Being aware of common medical errors will give you a foundation for noticing the potential for a mistake before it becomes a problem. In this article, we’ll discuss three common medical errors to be aware of.

1) Diagnostic Errors

An incorrect diagnosis can lead to unnecessary treatment, which can even be harmful. It also means that it will take longer for the actual concern to be treated. Delays in diagnosing can also be harmful, preventing patients from getting treatment for their symptoms.

2) Surgery/Procedure Errors

From operating on the incorrect limb to losing a medical instrument during a procedure, surgical errors can lead to serious complications for patients. They can also be difficult to recover from, particularly when the affected patient must have multiple operations. Errors in charting can lead to serious consequences.

3) Mishaps with Medication

Medication errors are among the most common medical mistakes. Failing to consider possible drug interactions or prescribing the incorrect dose can negatively impact the patient. Medical history, allergies, and other medications the patient takes all need to be considered when a new medicine is prescribed.

Preventing Medical Mistakes

Take notes about each office visit or procedure, including instructions from the care provider. Keep a record of your medical history (and the medical history for anyone you are caring for). This should include current medications, previous health care providers and their contact information, any allergies, and other notes as needed.

If you get anxious at the doctor’s office or just want help to make sure you don’t miss anything, bring a friend or family member to your appointment. Ask questions, especially if you’re not sure about something or if you don’t understand why your provider is recommending something.

If you have surgery or a procedure, be sure to document and follow instructions for continuing to recover at home.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a medical error, contact the Schuerman Law office today. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.