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Medical Errors That Can Cause Harm to Patients

When you go to a hospital to receive medical attention, the healthcare professional and hospital staff owe it to you to ensure your safety. Failing to do so through a medical error can expose you to harm and lead to severe injuries, illnesses, and infections. Some negligent medical errors that can expose you to harm include mistakes in diagnosing medical conditions, prescribing medication, performing surgery, and sanitizing areas around the hospital.

If you suffered further harm from medical errors, you could file a medical malpractice claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to hold the liable party accountable for the negligence that led to your injuries. A medical malpractice lawyer can help put you in a position to recover compensation for damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life. They can assist you with assessing the cost of your damages, determining who the at-fault party is, and gathering evidence to prove the liable party’s negligence.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim for Harm Caused by Medical Errors

Medical malpractice is a personal injury claim you could file for negligent or intentionally reckless behavior from a medical professional that causes you harm. When you go to a hospital, you trust the hospital staff to keep you safe and treat your medical condition properly. Hospital staff and healthcare professionals owe a duty of care to their patients, which is the appropriate standard of behavior that other industry professionals would view as appropriate and safe.

Failure to adhere to their duty of care can leave a healthcare professional liable for a medical malpractice claim, as they did not exhibit the proper level of care, skill, and treatment. One way a healthcare professional can breach the duty of care is by committing a medical error, a preventable mistake that can harm a patient.

Wrongly Diagnosing a Patient Can Make Treatment More Difficult

A healthcare professional can exhibit negligence in diagnosing your medical conditions. One such way they can do that is by failing to order diagnostic tests to determine what medical condition you suffer from. You may have suffered a severe injury from a car accident, but the doctor decided only to use a physical exam to diagnose your injuries. This can lead to them missing how severe your injury is and can cause further health complications.

They can also wrongly diagnose your severe injury. This involves them failing to grasp what medical condition you suffer from based on your symptoms and the results of diagnostic imaging. Misdiagnosing a medical condition can prevent them from providing the necessary medical treatment to help someone recover from their medical condition. This can lead to aggravation of the medical condition that can cause life-altering complications.

Severe Injuries Caused by Surgical Errors

Healthcare professionals can also breach the duty of care by making surgical errors. If they wrongly diagnose your injuries, they may make a mistake in deciding whether you need surgery. Having a patient undergo surgery when their medical condition doesn’t call for it can expose them to unnecessary risks, as someone should only get surgery if it’s absolutely necessary. Failing to give someone surgery when they need it can also cause harm to patients, as their medical condition could grow worse without proper treatment.

Another surgical mistake that can cause significant harm to a patient is performing surgery on the wrong body part or side of the body. This can expose a patient to significant health risks, as a doctor might compromise a healthy body part by cutting into it when it’s not necessary. For example, a patient may require surgery for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that requires neurosurgery. The surgeon must perform the surgery on the right side of the head. Wrong-side neurosurgery can cause significant harm and expose a patient to life-threatening consequences.

The following are some other surgical errors that can cause harm:

  • Cutting a nerve during surgery
  • Leaving a foreign object inside a patient’s body
  • Performing the wrong surgical procedure
  • Making an anesthesia error
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Performing surgery while fatigued, tired, or drunk

Mistakes in Prescribing Medication Can Lead to Harm

Doctors can also make mistakes in prescribing medication that can lead to further health complications. If they make a mistake in diagnosis, the healthcare provider may suggest their client take the wrong medication or prescribe an incorrect dosage. All of these mistakes can lead to significant health risks, as taking the wrong medication can expose a patient to harmful side effects. Taking too much medication can also increase a patient’s risk of suffering side effects, whereas not taking enough medication can lead to the patient’s medical condition growing worse.

Failure to Sanitize Equipment Can Lead to Infections

Hospital staff must properly disinfect and sterilize their equipment to lower the risk of infection for patients. Surgical tools come into contact with sensitive areas of a person’s body, such as mucous membranes and sterile tissue. Surgical equipment that hasn’t been properly sterilized can carry pathogens that can infect a patient’s body and cause infections. Patients can suffer infections from unclean surgical tools, catheters, and ventilators.

The following are some types of infections caused by unsanitized hospital equipment:

  • Surgical site infections
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sepsis
  • Clostridium difficile infections

How Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help You Recover Compensatory Damages?

Recovering compensation for damages caused by medical errors, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, can be difficult. You must gather evidence to prove you suffered damages due to your healthcare provider’s negligence. Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer can help with this process, as they will have experience litigating these types of claims and will know what evidence can help prove your case.

Another huge element involved in medical malpractice claims is negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company. They will do what they can to limit your settlement to keep their profits up. Insurers employ insurance adjusters to find the information they can use to deny, delay, or devalue your claim. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can prepare for this and help you counteract their attempts to reduce your settlement. If you cannot reach a settlement, they can also help represent you in court.

Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Medical Malpractice Claim

The Russo Firm is a personal injury law firm that has helped victims of medical malpractice recover fair compensation for their damages. When you go to the hospital to receive medical treatment, the last thing you expect is to suffer more harm because of mistakes by the doctor or hospital staff. Our medical malpractice lawyers can use their decades of experience litigating these claims to handle the process of gathering evidence to prove the at-fault party’s liability. They can help you craft a legal counsel plan to maximize your chance of recovering fair compensatory damages to pay for further medical costs and the effects on your quality of life. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.

Article written or reviewed by:

Attorney Anthony Russo

Attorney Anthony Russo

Managing Partner and Lawyer at The Russo Firm

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