Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Common medical mistakes can cause fatalities

Unlike doctors, most Virginians don't have the experience or medical knowledge to treat their own illness and injuries. Therefore, when people go to the doctor, they expect that they will be treated. And when they are released, people generally expect that they will be healthy -- or at least better off. Sadly, people often suffer injuries at the hands of their doctors while in a hospital; many of these injuries are fatal.

There are several types of medical mistakes that occur in hospitals that can cause fatalities. The most common form of medical error is a misdiagnosis. When doctors misdiagnosis a person, the person may not receive the treatment that the person needs or may suffer from dangerous and unnecessary treatments.

Another dangerous form of medical errors that can lead to fatalities are medication errors. Some studies have estimated that around 1.5 million people suffer from a medication error while in hospitals each year. Additionally around 60 percent of hospital patients do not receive their normal medications while in the hospital.

Other medical mistakes that result in fatalities include so called "never events." These are things that are never supposed to happen in a normal situation. These include mistakes like operating on the wrong body part, performing the wrong procedure on the wrong patient, leaving tools inside the patient during surgery or placing food inside chest tubes.

When a person is a victim of a fatal medical error, the person's family can be left to suffer. Not only will the victim's family have emotional pain, but they will also have added expenses. Through a wrongful death suit, the family may be able to get compensation from negligent doctors for these expenses. An attorney can help families in these situations.

Source: Psychology Today, "10 Medical Errors That Can Kill You in the Hospital," Leana Wren, March 26, 2014

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