According to a study conducted by John's Hopkins in 2016, it is estimated that more than 250,000 deaths occur in the United States each year due to some form of medical error.
What Are Medical Errors?
A medical error is a preventable adverse effect of care that you suffer at the hands of a healthcare professional or related employees which causes you harm. There are many types of medical errors, some of which include:
- Diagnostic Mistakes
- Medication Errors
- Laboratory Errors
- Surgical Errors
- Anesthesia Errors
- Delays In Treatment
The same researchers who conducted the John’s Hopkins study reveal that medical errors aren’t simply due to inherently bad doctors. Instead, researchers say that most errors are representative of problems within the healthcare system including uncoordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence of protocols, and variation in doctor practice patterns that lack accountability.
What Causes Medical Errors?
There are many causes of medical errors, but the most prevalent and reoccurring ones include:
- Communication Problems: Whether verbal or written, communication breakdowns are the most frequent cause of medical errors
- Inadequate Information Flow: When necessary information about you is not transferred with you between facilities, specialties, or wards
- Human Factors: As with all human beings, healthcare professionals can make mistakes, and which are generally prone to happen when they are fatigued or under a lot of stress
- Patient-Related Issues: If your doctor does not correctly educate you on your diagnosis, medication, or future management, then you may make a decision that would not necessarily have made if you’d had all the information available to you at the time
- Organizational Transfer of Knowledge: New employees who aren’t trained appropriately and properly educated on the relevant protocols and procedures are more likely to make medical errors
- Staffing Patterns and Workflow: If there is understaffing and an overwhelming workload then healthcare professionals are more likely to miscommunicate and make medical error mistakes
- Technical Failures: Technical equipment is critical within the healthcare industry for both assessment and treatment purposes. This means that technical failures can very easily lead to complications and both diagnostic and treatment medical errors
- Inadequate Policies: Poor documentation and inadequate procedures lead to miscommunication and mismanagement which can be the foundation for medical errors
Medical malpractice lawsuits generally occur so that you may gain legal consideration for:
If you are seeking legal consideration for a medical error, then it is best to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer who is well-versed in the laws specific to your state.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will be able to guide you through the basic steps of bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit forward. These steps include:
- Contacting the medical professional involved to find out what went wrong and if the problem can be remediated
- Contacting the appropriate medical licensing board if your doctor does not offer you the help that you require
- Finding out the Statute of Limitations so that you know how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim
- Getting a certificate of merit to determine that your injuries were caused by an error on the part of the medical professional
- Discussing the possibility of settling out of court because medical malpractice cases are complex and can take a lot of time and money
If you believe that you or a family member may have been a victim of a medical error, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC today and speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys.
When you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen. Call 1-212-697-9280 for a free, confidential consultation.