If you follow California healthcare news, you may have, at one time or another, read about surgical mistakes or other mishaps that resulted in injuries to a patient. Some articles may have even listed certain instances as ”common” in the healthcare industry. However, no matter how common medical errors are, they should never occur. Negligence is often the root cause of such errors, and patients and their families are the ones who suffer because of it.
Here are some common situations where errors can happen.
Inaccurate or delayed diagnoses
Doctors are humans who are capable of error. However, they are also educated, licensed professionals who are able to assess a person’s health and make proper diagnoses. Sadly, misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical errors that occur in this state and throughout the country. If evidence suggests that you are experiencing a particular ailment but your physician insists that it is something else and initiates treatment, you could wind up in a worse condition than you were to start.
Every doctor, nurse, lab tech and so on must confirm your identity before a medical procedure. Failing to do so can have disastrous results. If a nurse or doctor gives you medication or performs surgery or some other procedure that is meant for another patient, you might suffer severe illness or even death.
What if the hospital scheduled you to have an operation on your left knee and you awoke from surgery to discover that the surgeon accidentally operated on your right knee, instead? As shocking as this may sound, wrong-site surgeries are one of the most common medical errors that cause patient injuries each year.
Just as your medical team must confirm your identity, a surgeon must confirm the type of procedure and correct body part, before performing an operation.
As mentioned earlier, if a nurse gives you medication meant for another patient, you could suffer serious consequences. Medication errors happen often, and for many patients, they are lethal. Your medical team must check that you are the right patient, as well as that the medication is the correct drug, and that staff are administering it through the proper route in the right dosage at the correct time.
Recovering from injuries caused by medical errors
Medical errors are often preventable, and negligence is usually the root cause. If you suffer illness, infection or other injuries because of medical negligence, state law allows you to seek justice against those who are deemed liable.