We trust our health care providers to offer safe and effective treatment. Unfortunately, they make mistakes. Sometimes, they are negligent and cause harm or even death. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a medical error, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.

One study indicates that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US. Some forms of medical error are more common than others. Keep reading to learn about the most common medical errors.

Which Medical Errors Are Most Common?

The most common medical errors are:

Misdiagnosis

A patient can only recover from an illness or injury if they receive a proper diagnosis. A wrong diagnosis will generally result in a patient receiving ineffective treatment. Misdiagnosis can prevent a patient from receiving treatment early enough to manage disease.

The consequences of misdiagnosis should not be underestimated. Around 40,000 to 80,000 Americans die every year after receiving an improper diagnosis.

Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis is similar to misdiagnosis. It occurs when a medical professional fails to diagnose a condition in a timely manner. This may happen when a medical provider overlooks the symptoms of a condition or dismisses a patient’s complaints.

It’s not uncommon for patients to die because a delayed diagnosis prevents them from receiving treatment. Even if a patient doesn’t lose their life, they might face long-lasting difficulties.

Medication Error

Medication errors can take a number of forms. Sometimes, it involves prescribing the wrong medication. Medication error might also occur when a doctor prescribes the wrong dose of a medication. 

Alternatively, a medical provider may fail to analyze a patient’s medical history to see if a prescription could interact with other prescriptions.

It’s worth noting that problems involving harmful medications aren’t always the result of a physician’s negligence. For example, a doctor may prescribe a medication that harms a patient because the pharmaceutical company didn’t explain the potential risks involved in taking it.

This is one of many reasons it’s important to hire an attorney if you believe you have a medical malpractice case. A lawyer can conduct an investigation to identify the liable parties genuinely responsible for providing compensation. Sometimes a physician is liable, but there are exceptions.

Infections

Patients can develop infections during or after hospital stays for a number of reasons. For instance, a patient may develop an infection because a piece of medical equipment wasn’t properly sterilized.

Some infections are minor. Others can become serious enough to cause death.

Medical Device Defects

A defective medical device can injure or kill a vulnerable patient. However, the designers and manufacturers of these devices are not the only ones responsible for ensuring they work properly. 

The doctors and other medical professionals who use these devices must maintain them and use them according to the designer’s instructions. 

Seeking Compensation for Medical Malpractice

Those are just a few examples of common medical errors. That said, it’s sometimes not easy for a patient to determine whether they’ve been harmed due to a medical error.

The best way to determine if you’ve been the victim of a medical error is to review the details of your case with an attorney. A qualified medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand whether you have grounds to file a claim against a negligent health care provider.