5 Medical Errors That Might Kill You

When you are unwell, you seek medical attention in a hospital with the hope that you will get better after treatment.

However, that might not be always be the case because of events that unfold while you are there or medical errors by any of the medical staff attending to you. Quite literally you place your life in the hands of your doctor or other medical staff!

Even in the best hospitals anywhere, mistakes can happen.

Common medical errors

1. Misdiagnosis

Error in diagnosis is a common medical error.  It can result in delay in treatment, unnecessary or harmful treatment sometimes with deadly consequences.

A wrong diagnosis also means that the patient’s true illness won’t be treated right away, thereby prolonging the patient’s pain and suffering.

2. Medication errors

One of the most common mistakes that occurs in the course of medical treatment is an error in medication. Common medication errors include

  • Providing patients with the wrong medications
  • Prescribing the wrong dosage, this could be either too little or too much of a medication
  • Ignoring patient medical histories. Certain medications may trigger an allergic reaction. A patient’s medical history could mention allergies to specific medications.
  • Providing medications that should not be taken together
  • Improperly administering medications e.g. providing medications at the wrong time
  • Failing to provide medication either by error of omission
  • Improper preparation of medications that need to be prepared a specific way

3. Unnecessary tests and procedures

While most of the diagnostic tests your doctor orders for you are necessary, there may be some that are not only unnecessary but costly and could also be deadly.

CT scans increase your lifetime risk of cancer, and dyes from CTs and MRIs can cause kidney failure. Even a simple blood draw can result in infection.

4. Infections

Due to unhygienic practices it is possible for a patient to get some infections while in the hospital. These include pneumonia, surgical site infections, gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections and bloodstream infections.

Although these infections could easily be prevented and treatable, they sometimes become serious leading to many patients dying.

5. Negligence

There have been incidences where surgical equipment, gauzes or bandages are left inside a patient’s body after surgery.

Negligence could also include instances of doctors operating on wrong limb or the wrong patient

However, some of the medical errors could be as a result of an unsafe medical device that malfunctions due to poor maintenance or manufacturers error.


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