Illness or injury lead most people to place their health in the hands of medical professionals. Unfortunately, medical professionals, despite their many skills and capabilities, do not always make the right decisions. When medical mistakes occur, the results can leave victims struggling with catastrophic injuries, illnesses, or the death of a loved one. Some medical mistakes, obviously, carry more catastrophic consequences than others. Here is a review of the top five medical mistakes that can lead to disastrous health outcomes.
1. Unnecessary Treatments
One of the biggest medical mistakes is providing unnecessary treatments. Many medical treatments cause significant discomfort and even pain to the person going through them. Imagine, for example, having surgery, only to discover that you never had the condition the surgery was intended to fix. An extensive recovery time, especially if the surgery leads to complications, leaves many patients feeling mistreated by their physician’s error.
2. Lack of Necessary Treatments
Another inexplicable and, frankly, inexcusable medical mistake occurs when a medical professional fails to render treatment necessary under the applicable standard of care for a patient’s health condition. Various factors can lead to this mistake, including lapses as simple as forgetting to write a prescription or patient note, or neglecting to make a follow-up appointment for a patient with a specialist or other healthcare provider.
3. Never Events
Never events are incidents that should never happen in a medical setting. Unfortunately, human error means that these things do occur in many hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors’ offices across the country. Never events may include things like giving a patient the wrong medication, allowing air into an IV line, or leaving surgical tools in the patient’s body after a procedure. Never events may have catastrophic consequences for the patient, including stroke, infection, and death.
Many physicians will stick to a diagnosis even if it begins to prove wrong. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis hurts many Americans each year. Patients may receive treatments for an illness they don’t have while failing to receive treatments for the illness or injury they do have. As a result, their condition may worsen or cause increasing complications.
5. Medication Mistakes
When your doctor places you on a medication, there is generally a good reason, such as managing symptoms, treating infection, or suppressing pain. Unfortunately, many hospitalized and ambulatory patients fail to receive the medications they’re supposed to take every day. Other patients may find themselves taking the wrong medication. Doctors may prescribe still other medications that interact dangerously with each other, or to which the patients have allergies. Medication mistakes can cause drastic, even deadly, consequences for patients.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Catastrophic Medical Mistake?
After a medical mistake upends your life, you may need a lawyer to help protect your rights to compensation. Don’t wait. Contact Emroch & Kilduff at (804) 358-1568 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team who can help you evaluate whether you have a claim.