The Most Common Medical Errors in West Palm Beach, FL
Gregg Hollander | January 3, 2022 | Medical Malpractice
Researchers have difficulty identifying the number of deaths that occur due to medical errors. Many doctors and hospitals do not list mistakes as a cause of death because doing so would expose them to liability for medical malpractice. But by some estimates, medical errors cause more deaths in the U.S. than all other accidents combined.
A study in 2013 estimated that deaths from medical errors range between 200,000 and 400,000 per year. The same study found that between 2 million and 8 million patients suffer serious injuries from medical errors annually.
Here are some of the most common medical errors patients suffer in West Palm Beach, FL.
Types of Medical Errors
Medical errors fall into three broad categories:
Diagnosis errors happen when a healthcare provider misdiagnoses your disease, injury, or condition. In some cases, diagnosis errors happen when a provider diagnoses you with a different condition than the one you have. For example, a doctor might misdiagnose your sore chest as muscle strain rather than pneumonia.
Misdiagnosis also includes a failure to diagnose. This happens when a doctor tells you that you are healthy, even though you have an injury, disease, or condition. One example of a failure to diagnose is if a doctor gives you a clean bill of health after a colonoscopy, even though you have a cancerous polyp.
Diagnosis errors sometimes happen because of lab problems. If a radiologist mixes up your mammogram images with someone else’s, the doctor cannot properly diagnose you or the other patient.
The most common diagnosis errors in West Palm Beach, FL, include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Mistaken patient identities
- Laboratory errors
In some cases, a diagnosis error will not harm you. Suppose that a doctor misdiagnoses your broken finger as a sprained finger. You will probably not suffer any harm because doctors treat both kinds of injuries with a splint.
But other diagnosis errors can do immense harm. When a lab mixes up results, one healthy patient may undergo unnecessary treatment while a sick patient goes untreated.
Treatment errors are the most common type of medical error. These errors happen when a mistake causes overtreatment, undertreatment, the wrong treatment, or substandard treatment.
In some cases, treatment errors come from a provider’s lack of skill or experience. In other cases, they can stem from administrative errors, such as misidentifying your injury or condition.
Treatment errors can also happen during aftercare. Nurses, nursing assistants, and kitchen staff can commit treatment errors while caring for you after your treatment.
Some of the most common treatment errors involve the following problems:
- Prescriptions with the wrong drug or wrong dose
- Mistyped tissue or blood
- Allergic reactions
- Surgical injuries
- Objects left inside patients
- Wrong-site surgery
- Premature release from the hospital
Errors can also happen during mental health treatment. Counselors and therapists can miss warning signs for suicide risks, improperly use physical restraints, and overprescribe or underprescribe drugs.
Except in emergencies, healthcare providers must obtain informed consent before treating you. This requires the provider to:
- Discuss your condition
- Outline your treatment options, including non-treatment
- Talk about the benefits and drawbacks of each option
- Obtain your consent to proceed with treatment
Treatment errors happen when a healthcare provider fails to meet these standards. The most common communication errors include:
- Failing to disclose side effects
- Failing to discuss reasonable alternative treatments
- Failing to get your consent for treatment
Most healthcare providers obtain consent by having you sign a form. But even if a healthcare provider has your signature, you may still be able to claim a communication error if you and your doctor did not have the required discussion.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice requires negligence. Not every unexpected or adverse outcome constitutes medical malpractice if it falls within the reasonably expected results. But when you suffer an injury due to unreasonably deficient care, you may have a case for medical malpractice.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact the location nearest you for a free consultation:
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401