According to the Journal of Patient Safety, at least 210,000 people die every year from medical mistakes in the United States in hospitals alone. Here is a look at the top 10 causes of medical malpractice in Houston and the rest of the United States.
A Misdiagnosis or Diagnosis Delay
Without the correct diagnosis, you’ll lose precious time that you could have used to get treatment. Your doctor also could tell you any symptoms aren’t serious and fail to order the appropriate tests or refer you to a specialist. When you do find out you have a problem like cancer or HIV, it may be too late for doctors to do anything but make you comfortable.
Prescription drug malpractice claims can result from a doctor’s bad handwriting on a prescription or an error by an overworked pharmacist. A doctor also could prescribe an antibiotic you’re allergic to or a drug that interacts with your existing medication. Many allergic reactions interfere with breathing, and some drug interactions are deadly.
Errors During Surgery or Other Procedures
Doctors who are tired or distracted often make errors like leaving surgical instruments inside patients. An error during any procedure could leave you with painful or even fatal complications.
No Informed Consent
If your doctor or dentist does anything to you without your written permission, you could have grounds for a lawsuit, especially if it was a major procedure.
Not Updating Medical Records
Failing to update medical records is one of the main causes of medication errors. A doctor can’t see if someone is allergic to a medication when the information isn’t on the patient’s chart.
Poor or No Instructions
If your doctor doesn’t tell you how to take care of yourself after surgery or what symptoms to watch out for when taking a medication, you could have to deal with additional complications.
Not Communicating with Other Professionals
Doctors often fail to transfer medical records or consult with other physicians when needed. One of the most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits among obstetricians is a failure to inform another doctor about a patient’s medical history if the primary doctor becomes unavailable.
Poor service usually doesn’t cause medical malpractice directly, but it makes people more likely to sue if there’s an error. People who have to deal with a rude staff will be less forgiving if there’s a mistake.
Defective Medical Devices
A malfunctioning pacemaker, insulin pump or heart valve implant could cause death. These malfunctions could be a mistake by a doctor or an error in the manufacturing process.
Giving a patient the wrong amount or type of anesthesia during surgery can cause serious injuries or death. People also can wake up during surgery if they don’t receive sufficient anesthesia.
Nguyen & Chen Attorneys and Counselors at Law
Nguyen & Chen are experienced malpractice attorneys who can help you get compensation for negligent actions by medical professionals. These cases have a three-year statute of limitations, so you should contact us as soon as possible.