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Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
(833) 997-1774

When you see a doctor to get advice and treatment for a medical condition, the last thing you expect is to sustain additional injuries. Sadly, medical mistakes are incredibly common, and they cause injuries and death to hundreds of thousands of victims in the United States every year.

What serious medical error occurs most often?

If a physician, nurse, or another healthcare provider injured you or a member of your family through wrongdoing or negligence, you might be entitled to collect compensation. If you suspect you have been the victim of medical negligence, you should speak to an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We can review your potential case and help you secure the financial compensation you deserve.

Most Common Medical Mistakes

A medical mistake is any preventable error that a physician, hospital, nurse, medic, or healthcare professional makes during the course of diagnosis or treatment that causes a patient to sustain unnecessary harm. A study published by Johns Hopkins University reveals that over 250,000 people in the United States die every single year due to preventable medical mistakes, making them the third leading cause of fatalities after heart disease and cancer. The medical errors leading to injury and death that occur most often are:

Diagnostic Errors

Diagnostic mistakes include delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and failure to diagnose. These could result from a doctor not asking the right questions or asking enough questions during a patient’s evaluation. Mistakes can also be made if a doctor fails to order the appropriate diagnostic procedures or tests or interprets the test results incorrectly.

Even if the doctor does arrive at an accurate diagnosis, they might have done so only after it is too late for the illness or condition to be treated Breast, lung, and colon cancer are the leading conditions for delayed diagnosis. Other common misdiagnoses or delayed diagnosis errors include sepsis, strokes,  brain hemorrhages, embolisms, and heart attacks.

Even though they can take place in any medical setting, diagnostic mistakes happen most frequently in intensive care units, operating rooms, and hospital emergency rooms. Doctors and nurses can easily overlook vital patient information by either failing to take into account all of their symptoms or simply choosing to ignore them. An entry in a patient’s chart might have gone unnoticed, or they could have made an error resulting from stress or fatigue. 

Prescription Drug Errors

A prescription drug error refers to a preventable event that results in a patient receiving the wrong medication, the wrong dose, or some other kind of harm caused by medication. Anyone involved in the prescription and dispensing of medications is able to make a prescription drug error, including pharmacists, nurses, and physicians.

The most common prescription drug errors are:

  • Prescribing an incorrect medication
  • Dispensing or administering the wrong medication
  • Failing to prescribe the proper medication
  • Administering the wrong dosage
  • Administering a patient’s medication too often, too early, or too late
  • Giving a patient medication meant for somebody else  
  • Failing to take into account the potential negative side effects a medication could have on a patient’s condition
  • Failing to take into account a patient’s allergies or other adverse drug interactions 
  • Falling to follow protocol when dispensing, prescribing, or administering prescription medications

Every year, more than 100,000 prescription drug errors from across the country are reported to the United States Food and Drug Administration by drug manufacturers, healthcare providers, and consumers. Prescription drug errors can result in serious injury, hospitalization, birth defects, disability, life-threatening health conditions, and death. Additionally, an astronomical number of lawsuits have been generated due to defective or dangerous drugs.

Surgical Mistakes

Occasionally, a surgeon will perform an incorrect procedure or operate on the wrong body part. For example, a surgeon might get their patients confused and perform a hysterectomy on a patient who was scheduled to have their appendix removed.

Surgical mistakes can also be committed if the surgeon causes damage to one organ while operating on another, such as perforating a patient’s intestines while removing their gall bladder. They could also erroneously remove a perfectly healthy organ, leaving the damaged one behind. A surgeon or a member of the surgical team could leave an object inside of you during your operation, a mistake that can only be repaired with another surgery. 

Speak With a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

At the law offices of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we help clients who have experienced any form of injury caused by someone else’s negligence, including medical errors. We are client-focused in our approach to personal injury cases and we are dedicated to getting our clients the financial compensation they deserve.

If you were injured due to a medical error, it is in your best interests to make sure that you have an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer on your side. Schedule a free consultation by calling (833) 997-1774. 

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