If you feel sick or you hurt yourself, you know that seeing a doctor is the best thing to do. The doctor can look you over and run some tests if necessary. They can make a diagnosis, and hopefully, based on that, they can figure out the best treatment plan.
People generally trust doctors because they have little choice in the matter. Unless you’re a medical expert, you’re seldom going to know what’s wrong with you. You know that doctors went to medical school, so they should have the education and experience to help you.
Unfortunately, even though doctors should “first, do no harm,” according to the Hippocratic Oath, some make mistakes. A medical error can be dangerous or even fatal. Here are some medical error facts you might not have previously known.
One thing about medical errors that many people don’t comprehend is how many of them there are all across the country each single day. There are somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 death-resulting medical errors every year. The average person probably doesn’t think it’s anywhere near that many.
An inaction or action can lead to a medical error, and when we talk about one happening, it might not be just a doctor who is responsible. An orderly might cause one, or a nurse, or some other medical professional.
You just have to hope that if a medical error occurs, it will not be too severe. Ideally, you will survive it, and it will not impact your life terribly much, or permanently.
Some people also don’t realize how many possible errors can take place. For instance, there might be a surgical error. A doctor might operate on the wrong body part, such as making a right arm incision when the left arm required the surgery.
A doctor might sew a patient up but leave an instrument inside them. That’s a terrifying thought, but it does happen sometimes. A doctor might misdiagnose a patient and give them the wrong medication, making them worse instead of better.
A patient might suffer an infection while in a healthcare facility. Hospital or clinic staff should keep these facilities very clean, but if you have an open wound, unsanitary conditions can infect it easily.
A doctor might install a defective medical device. Your healthcare provider should look into the medical devices they recommend so they can stay on top of any recalls.
You should also know that many things can cause medical errors. Miscommunication causes some of them. A doctor might write down medication a nurse should administer, and then the nurse may misread the handwriting.
A nurse or doctor could administer the wrong medication amount. They might give many times more than the recommended dosage, which can severely hurt or even kill a patient.
A doctor, nurse, or another medical professional might be dealing with fatigue. Maybe they are working a double, and they have been on their feet for many hours. During the current pandemic, many medical professionals are working considerably longer hours than they usually do.
There might not be sufficient safety protocols in place to protect a patient. While medical professionals try to adhere to best practices, they might be in a hurry to get on to the next patient, so they forego a protocol that’s in place for a particular reason.
If you believe a doctor or some other medical professional committed an error, you don’t just have to accept what happened. You definitely shouldn’t accept it if you suffered severe harm, and your life isn’t the same after what took place.
However, while you are within your rights to hold a medical professional accountable, it’s not always easy. There is what doctors and the medical community call a care standard. You will have to prove in court that the medical professional did not live up to that standard.
Medical errors can be tragic since medical professionals can prevent many of them if they’re more careful. If you believe a medical error harmed you, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice and representation.