What kills more Americans than heart disease and cancer? The answer may surprise you: medical errors by doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers.
Medical Errors Kill
Between 250,000 and 400,000 Americans died because of medical mistakes in only one year, according to a study published by Johns Hopkins University. Those numbers make medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the US.
Doctors’ most common mistake is misdiagnosing a patient’s illness. Twelve million people are misdiagnosed in the U.S. every year. Patients who report a headache, vertigo, and nausea are often misdiagnosed as having a migraine when they are actually suffering a mild stroke. Heart attacks, bone fractures, infectious viruses, and lung cancer are also frequently misdiagnosed.
Doctors who commit errors during a woman’s childbirth can leave both the child and the mother with severe physical and psychological damage. Many infants are left with cerebral palsy following birth-related errors. Mothers can hemorrhage or be administered improper anesthesia, causing brain damage or death.
Every year, 7,000 to 9,000 people die in the U.S. because of medication errors.
Doctors write the wrong drug on a prescription, or they order the wrong dose. Hospital pharmacists fill prescriptions with the wrong pills, or nurses administer the wrong drug or give patients the wrong dose. In other cases, the hospital employees neglect to follow doctor’s orders and fail to give a needed medication to a suffering patient.
In one Florida case, a nurse gave a 79-year-old man a drug that induced paralysis instead of giving him an antacid. He died of respiratory failure within hours. The nurse explained that he grabbed the wrong drug because the packaging looked similar.
Coronavirus, also called Covid-19, is dominating the news these days. Much of the news describes how quickly the virus can spread through healthcare facilities if the right precautions aren’t taken by hospital administrators. Neglecting to take steps protecting patients from those infected with the virus is yet another medical malpractice that could be prevented.
Medical Malpractice Blog Posts to Stay Informed
Despite the best intentions of healthcare providers, many mistakes are made, and thousands of people suffer needlessly as a result of these errors. A new blog post will appear regularly on this website to give you the newest information about another medical malpractice area.
Wrong site surgeries, improper anesthesia, failure to provide informed consent, failure to diagnose, misreading radiology or test results, miscommunication among hospital workers, and many more topics will be covered in detail. Visit this site often to keep up with the latest information.