Most of us trust our doctors, hospitals, and medical providers to provide the care we need when we are sick or injured. We submit to tests, treatments, and procedures in the hopes that our conditions will improve and that our general overall health will be better. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Increasing reports of medical mistakes and errors cast doubt on our entire healthcare system, as alarming numbers of people face suffering serious and potentially life threatening complication resulting from problems related to their medical care. Regardless of your current level of health, it is vitally important to be aware of the common types of medical errors which can occur, as well as being alert to the situations in which these mistakes commonly happen.
Medical Errors and Patient Safety
According to a March 2015 article on medical errors in U.S. News and World Reports, there are approximately 200,000 deaths which occur as the result of adverse medical events each year, while as many as four million other patients suffer serious injuries. Many of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented, but were the result of mistakes, miscommunications, and neglect on the part of the doctors, surgeons, nurses, technicians, or other hospital staff. It is a problem that the Florida Board of Medicine is well aware of, and under Chapter 64B8 of the Florida Administrative Code, employees working at licensed facilities in the state are required to take a course specifically on the prevention of medical errors. By law this course must include studying the root causes of these adverse events, as well as how to prevent them from occurring and how to increase patient safety.
Common Medical Errors and Mistakes
A 2014 report on medical mistakes and errors by Becker’s Hospital Review, a leading supplier of information for the healthcare industry, lists some of the most common types of adverse medical events that have the potential to cause serious harm to patients. These include the following:
- Adverse drug events, including overprescribing medications, as well as giving the wrong type of medication or the wrong dosage;
- Surgical site infections, which can occur as the result of unsterile conditions or lack of appropriate pre or post-operative care;
- Catheter and central line associated infections, which may occur as the result of contamination or neglect in checking or cleaning the catheter site;
- Obstetrical adverse events, including procedural errors and failing to recognize signs of distress in both the mother and their unborn child; and
- Slips and falls, stemming from problems with inadequate staffing and unsafe conditions.
In addition to the above, the Florida Board of Medicine also acknowledges wrong site/wrong procedure surgical errors as a common problem, as well as missed or incorrect diagnosis. According to the Florida Board, the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions include cancer-related issues, neurological problems, cardiac-related conditions, and urological-related issues.
Let Us Help You Today
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical error or mistake, contact our experienced Florida medical malpractice attorneys. At Hogan Frick, our attorneys understand the serious damages that can result from these errors, and can advise you on how to get compensation for the injuries you have suffered. With offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, we can help you; call or contact us online today for a free review of your case.