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5 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

LawMD

Medical malpractice is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, 251,000 Americans die due to a medical mistake.

In fact, medical errors claim more lives than strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and respiratory disease.

Although medical mistakes can take many forms, certain errors are more common than others.

If you believe you have been injured by a doctor’s mistake, contact a Washington, DC Medical Malpractice Lawyer as soon as possible. In most cases, you have a narrow window of opportunity to file a medical malpractice claim.

If you wait too long, you can forever miss your chance to get compensation for your injuries.

Here are five of the most common medical errors, which give rise to medical malpractice claims:

Misdiagnosis

Walk into any hospital or doctor’s waiting room, and you will probably notice they are busy places.

Doctors regularly handle a large number of patients, and under-staffing is a big problem in many hospitals across the country.

This busy atmosphere is just one reason why misdiagnoses happen. According to a study published in BMJ Quality & Safety, about 12 million people are misdiagnosed in the U.S. each year.

When doctors miss a disease or diagnose the wrong disease or health condition, patients can suffer serious harm.

Birth Injuries

The birth of a baby is supposed to be a time of anticipation and joy. Unfortunately, birth injuries are a top cause of medical malpractice.

Childbirth is the most common reason for hospitalization in the United States, so there is significant data relating to birth injuries. In 2006 alone, nearly 157,700 mothers and babies suffered injuries during labor and delivery.

The tragedy of these cases is that the majority of birth injuries are avoidable. Cerebral palsy is the most common birth injury, with about 8,000 babies diagnosed each year.

Medication Mistakes

When it comes to prescription drugs, a single misplaced decimal point can kill. There are about 1 million drug mistakes every year, and prescription drug errors result in 7,000 deaths in the U.S. annually.

Common drug mistakes include dispensing the wrong medication, giving a drug to the wrong patient, dispensing the wrong dosage of a drug, and failing to check for drug interactions and allergies.

Drug mistakes are also on the rise in nursing homes, where elderly patients take more medications compared to patients in other age groups.

Many nursing home residents also suffer from diminished mental capacity, which can make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to speak up when a drug mistake occurs.

Anesthesia Errors

Over the past century, advances in anesthesia have revolutionized medicine, and particularly surgery.

Without it, the lengthy surgical procedures doctors perform today would not be possible. Although most surgery is incredibly safe, anesthesia mistakes are a common form of medical malpractice.

In recent years, many freestanding and outpatient surgery centers have replaced anesthesiologists with nurse anesthetists, who are not medical doctors and do not have the same training as board certified anesthesiologists.

Surgical Mistakes

Everyone has heard horror stories of sponges left behind in patients, or doctors operating on the wrong body part or even the wrong patient. If you think these mistakes are rare, think again.

In fact, wrong site surgery – surgery on the wrong body part – happens 40 times each week in the United States.

Researchers say these egregious mistakes happen due to doctor fatigue, poor communication, and scheduling problems.

Don’t Wait! Call a Medical Malpractice Lawyer about Your Case

If you believe you have been the victim of a medical mistake, get your case evaluated by a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

Medical negligence cases are complicated, and the time to file a claim is limited. Your lawyer will review the details surrounding your case and help you explore your options. Call (888) 695-2963.

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