A patient visits the doctor to feel better and never expects that he or she could be hurt. However, that is exactly what can happen if the patient is a victim of a medical mistake.
Statistics indicate that thousands of patients are injured or die each year because of medical errors, including drug-related mistakes. These incidents can happen in several different ways.
Falls and drug errors
Patients can easily fall in clinic and hospital settings. These falls can be caused by staff who improperly lift or move the patient or administer medication to the patient that makes him or her dizzy or faint.
Also, a physician may prescribe medication to a patient with the wrong dose or without checking that the medication could cause a harmful interaction with another drug. This can also occur if the staff does not check the patient’s medical record for allergies and past medication history.
Patient infections and discharge
Patients can also contract infections in the hospital. This can happen if the patient is exposed to other ill patients, if the medical staff fail to wash their hands or if the facility does not clean properly. In addition, in more serious situations a patient can be infected from instruments left behind after a surgery.
Finally, most patients who are hospitalized are anxious to go home. However, by discharging a patient too early or without adequate instructions about how to continue care at home, it can result in a patient’s readmission to the hospital or additional follow up visits.
If a patient or his or her loved one suffered an injury because of a medical mistake, there is help available to pursue compensation.