10 Medical Mistakes That Can Kill You

When you seek medical attention from your primary care doctor or from a hospital emergency room, you trust that the provider knows what they are doing and that you will receive the best care possible. However, there are sometimes mistakes that could kill you if they are not caught and treated in time. 

1. Misdiagnosis

There are times when a doctor might not understand all of the symptoms that you describe. They might mistake one illness for another. However, if you’ve had tests performed and still receive a misdiagnosis, then that is usually the fault of the doctor. 

If severe injuries result from a misdiagnosis, then you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer who can review your case to determine if you can file a claim to obtain compensation for your medical bills and treatment. Medical mistakes may happen, but doctors must be held responsible.

2. Treatments That Aren’t Needed

Although you might need medications or certain types of treatments for your illness or injury, you might not need all of the treatments that are given. Here are a few of the common unnecessary treatments that are often ordered:

Even if you only suspect your doctor has prescribed one too many medications, that’s nothing to ignore. Not only do unnecessary treatments cost more money but they can also lead to greater health risks than the initial reason for your visit. Being overmedicated can lead to addiction, overdose, and death.

3. Tests and Procedures

Sometimes, tests and procedures aren’t always necessary to determine what’s wrong with you. These tests can often decrease your lifespan and can sometimes prolong your treatment plan as you have to wait longer for the results of the test to come back. 

An example is an MRI. Since the scan uses a magnet, it could increase your risk of cancer over time. Even though most MRI test results come back the same day or the next day, you might need treatment right away. If you have to wait, then that’s several hours that you’re not getting the proper medications or other treatments you need. 

4. Medication

Whether it’s because of the pharmacist or your doctor, medication mistakes happen. The pharmacist might read the details of the prescription wrong or give you the wrong medication. This is why it’s important to talk to the pharmacist about the medication and why it should be taken so that you know for sure that you’re being given the correct product. This is one of the most common medical mistakes and can be easy to overlook.

Doctors might try a few different medications before finding one that works. They might prescribe something that causes an allergic reaction or that has a negative interaction with other medications that you take. If you’re getting IV treatment, then some medications could result in an air bubble that causes a severe reaction in your body. 

5. Not Paying Attention

There are medical situations that occur that never should have happened in the first place if doctors and nurses would have simply paid attention to what was happening. 

Medical supplies are sometimes left behind after an incision is closed during surgery. Your operation could be performed on the wrong leg, which would mean that you still need another surgery for the correct body part. 

6. Coordination

The care that you receive at your doctor’s office or at a hospital should be coordinated. The nurses and doctors should have a plan of action and know about your condition, otherwise you run the risk of one person trying to perform one plan of treatment while the other performs a different plan. Lack of coordination could lengthen your recovery or cause further harm.

7. Infections

When you stay in a hospital, you expect to get better. Instead, there are some infections that you could take home with you. MRSA is a common infection that could lead to months of antibiotics and even death if it’s not treated. 

8. Accidents

Accidents can and do happen everywhere. Equipment can fail in the medical setting. Joint replacements don’t always last as long as they are supposed to last. Electric components might not work when they are needed, such as defibrillators. 

9. Warning Signs Missed

There are usually warning signs that something is wrong with you if your doctor pays attention. These could include:

  • An abnormal cough 
  • Sweating 
  • Bleeding 
  • Pain 

If your doctor ignores these signs, then you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. 

10. Early Discharge

Although you might think that you’re ready to go home from the hospital, it might be too soon in some cases. Make sure you’ve received all of the instructions from your doctor and that there are no signs of immediate distress that could warrant spending more time in the hospital. An early discharge could mean something serious goes untreated.

Doctors and nurses are well-trained professionals who underwent years of medical school, but they’re still people. Sometimes even the best of us make mistakes. These are just a few medical mistakes that could prove lethal. If you think you’ve suffered from any of these mistakes, don’t hesitate to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer about your situation. 

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