Common Medical Errors

Ten Most Common Medical Errors and Their Root Cause

There has been a rapid increase in deaths due to medical errors. Patients trust the health care providers and institutions for helping them and making them feel better; however, avoidable medical errors and negligence can break that trust and cost the patient’s life.

Seeing your loved ones die because of medical malpractice or a medical error can shake your faith in the medical system and alter your choice. Medical errors have become a public concern, and steps must be taken to understand the root cause of medical errors and to eliminate those causes as quickly as possible. Here are the ten most common medical errors and their root cause:

Top avoidable medical error causes

Medical errors occur when a treatment method is contrary or different from a better and correct treatment option that a good practitioner would choose. There are many reasons why such type of medical malpractice occurs:

1) Fatigue

Doctors that work night and day shifts with little or zero rest are more likely to make errors. When your body and mind is sleep deprived, exhausted and tired, it is more difficult to think, concentrate, focus and make the right decisions.

2) User error

The introduction of digital administration might be difficult for some practitioners. While they get familiar with the system during their early days, they may fail to put in the information correctly. A slight click on a drop-down menu can lead to disastrous mistakes.

3) Inexperience

Every doctor starts somewhere; however, inexperience can lead to medical errors. When a doctor fails to judge the symptoms correctly because they have not seen such a case before, they can give treatments that may worsen the situation. That’s why healthcare professionals need to make use of each opportunity to learn, from taking online medical courses and earning ACLS and PALS certificates to visiting symposiums and medical fairs.

4) Human error

Nurses and doctors should follow all medical protocols, standards of care and the institution’s policies and guidelines to provide the best treatment and avoid medical errors. Failure to follow protocols and guidelines can lead to disease, sickness and suffering.

5) Lack of communication

Lack of communication can lead to many medical errors, be they written or verbal. They can occur between the institute’s administration team and physicians, physicians and nurses, healthcare team and a patient.

6) Inadequate information flow

Information flow must be smooth and accurate in a health care institution, especially between units and different institutions. If a patient is transferred from one unit to the other or from one institution to the other, their entire data or information should be sent with the patient.

Transportation data should be double-checked with all other documents and information sources in order to avoid the administration of the wrong medicine, at the wrong time, double administration or through the wrong route. Inadequate information flow results due to lack of communication, poor coordination of medical orders and negligence of nurses. They can also occur due to a lack of training and inadequate education of health care providers.

7) Staff flow

Inadequate staff and lead to medical errors and put medical health providers in situations they are bound to make a mistake. Inadequate staff leads to exhausted and fatigued nurses and doctors that cannot cope with the patient flow.

8) Technical failures

Technical failures such as complications and failure of medical devices, medical equipment, implants and grafts can cause serious issues.

Most common medical errors

There is always room for medical mistakes, and many are done due to the reasons mentioned above. However, there are some medical mistakes that occur more commonly than others. Such frequent medical errors can have many negative consequences for the patient, doctor, nurse and the institute.

1) Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis can be very dangerous for the patient who will require immediate medical intervention. Misdiagnosis refers to incorrectly diagnosing the patient and their disease because of which the wrong treatment is given. This wrong treatment can worsen their condition and even prove to be fatal. The wrong treatment may also increase their symptoms and cause other problems such as liver failure.

2) Delayed diagnosis

Refusing to believe there is an underlying disease or medical condition can lead to severe cases and can be as dangerous as misdiagnosis. Delaying diagnosis and treatment only result in the disease progressing forward and worsening.

According to statistics, the symptom and pain of women and minorities are not taken seriously by medical practitioners. This can lead to prolonged periods of pain, suffering and worsening of the condition.

3) Medication error

The most common medical error that can even lead to death within seconds is when a patient is administered the wrong medication. This can be an error on behalf of the doctor who may diagnose the disease wrongly, select the wrong dosage, enter the medication wrongly into the electronic prescription system.

This medical error may also occur on behalf of the pharmacy who reads the name of the medicine wrong and fills your prescription with the wrong medication at the wrong strength and the wrong dosing instructions. A simple misplacement of a decimal point can lead to the patient receiving a stronger or weaker medication than required.

If you are a victim of an avoidable medical error, you need to contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Lawrenceville, GA. If you have lost a loved one due to malpractice and negligence of nurses and doctors, the lawyer will help you win the compensation you deserve. They will not only represent you in court but will take care of all legal matters regarding your case.

4) Faulty medical devices

This sort of error occurs on behalf of the manufacturer who provides medical equipment and is trusted by hospitals and clinics to ensure that their equipment functions correctly and is of no harm. Sadly, there are cases where this is not so and leads to additional treatment and surgeries to correct the harm caused by the faulty equipment.

The manufacturer should disclose all risks involved with a medical device and equipment and all side effects of any medication they are providing. If they are unable to forgive the information, you should remind them and demand it.

5) Infection

Medical health providers should be given adequate training and guidance on how to treat and manage infections and infectious diseases. All tools used in surgeries should be sterile. Cleanliness and sanitation of all materials, including bed sheets, pillow covers and clothing equipment should be maintained. Patient’s with infectious diseases such as TB should be isolated and kept separate from the other patients.

More and more hospitals are now trying to contain the COVID-19 virus, for which it is important that every institution must ensure proper SOPs. All COVID-19 patients should be isolated, and doctors should wear protective masks and suits when going near the patient. Patients should be made quarantine, and diligence should be shown in order to limit the spread of the infection through shared air systems.