The Cook & Tolley Blog

Common medical errors made in a hospital setting

Whether we are entering the hospital for a planned procedure or whether we are receiving emergency care, we expect the physicians and other medical professionals working in the facility to provide competent, adequate care. Unfortunately, medical errors occur all too frequently in Georgia. The following are some common errors made in hospitals that could negatively affect your health and well-being.

Misdiagnosis and missed warning signs

One common error is a misdiagnosis. A wrong diagnosis could delay the amount of time it takes to get treatment for your illness, and thus, the right treatment. It could also subject you to unnecessary treatment, and unnecessary tests — two other common hospital errors. In addition, missed warning signs could lead to worsened condition or even death.

Medication errors

Medication mistakes are another common hospital error. It is estimated that more than 60% of those in the hospital do not receive their regular medication during their stay, or they receive the wrong medication altogether. This could make an existing illness worse or could cause substantial harm if the wrong medication is administered.

“Never events”

Another common type of hospital errors are “never events.” These are instances that, with due care, should never happen in the first place. For example, a wrong site surgery, sponges or other medical tools left in your body after an operation, or tubes being connected to the wrong areas of the body are all events that should never happen and could be fatal.

Lack of coordinated care

When you are in the hospital, you often see more than one caregiver. Doctors and nurses vary by shifts and you may see several specialists as well. This changing of hands can lead to duplicate tests, the administration of medications that interfere with one another and other errors stemming from a lack of coordinated care.

Hospital-acquired infections and injuries

Hospital-acquired infections are also a common medical error. Surgical sites can be infected, IVs can cause blood infection, infection could result from antibiotic-resistant bacteria or you could develop pneumonia. Falling accidents in hospitals are also common as are malfunctioning medical devices.

Learn more about your options following a medical mistake

When you are seriously made ill or injured due to a medical mistake at a hospital, you could suffer a worsened condition, unnecessary pain and suffering and costly medical bills. When all you are trying to do is recover from your illness or injury, having to worry about how to pay for your daily living expenses and the high cost of medical care can keep you up at night, especially if you have a family to provide for. In situations like this, you may want to learn more about whether a medical malpractice claim is right for you.

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