Medical providers encourage their patients to trust them when providing care. However, more than 1 million patients experience injuries caused by medical errors every year. Some of these errors qualify as medical malpractice and could be prosecuted as such in an Illinois courtroom.
Seriousness of medical errors
A medical error includes mistakes made by any type of medical professional, including doctors, radiologists, nurses or anesthesiologists. A report by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine discovered that more than 250,000 people die every year because of medical error.
Medical errors vs. malpractice
Not every medical error qualifies as medical malpractice. To count as malpractice, the error must meet these qualifications:
• The medical professional must have owed a duty of care to the patient.
• The professional’s error must have breached their duty.
• Their error must have caused an injury.
• The injury must result in severe damage to the patient.
Medication and anesthesia errors
Medication errors may occur when a doctor’s handwriting is illegible and the wrong prescription gets fulfilled as a result. Other medication errors include errors in anesthesia and critical care. The wrong type or amount of anesthesia can cause a fatal reaction in patients.
Surgical and critical care errors
Surgeries require physicians who train for years to provide their skills. Those working in critical care undergo specialized training as well. Even the slightest error may alter your life permanently. Common surgical and critical care medical errors include:
• Performing the wrong surgery
• Amputating the wrong part of the body
• Failure to monitor the patient correctly
• Using defective machines or the wrong equipment
Obtaining the right diagnosis makes a significant difference in the type of care you receive. A delayed or incorrect diagnosis may worsen your condition or even cause death.
Medical errors may result in costly additional treatments. You, your child or other loved ones may deal with the consequences for an extended period of time, and the error could change your life permanently.