The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

What types of errors could cause patient harm in a hospital?

When you go to the hospital, you probably assume that you will receive quality care and support from the people who are taking care of you. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Sometimes, mistakes can happen in hospitals because of various types of negligence or recklessness. Patients can suffer serious harm because of one simple error.

Safety and procedures are incredibly important in any Pennsylvania hospital. When there is a lack of safety protocols, untrained staff, overworked care providers and simple human error in play, innocent patients can pay the price with their help. If you suspect that a medical error of some kind led to your continued suffering or the worsening of your condition, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

What could go wrong?

In a hospital, plenty of things could go wrong. This is why it is especially crucial for there to be systems in place to keep treatments, procedures and all elements of patient care running smoothly. Some of the most common types of hospital errors include:

  • Diagnostic errors -- It is critical that doctors properly diagnose patients since an improper or delayed diagnosis can lead to serious problems for a patient. Proper diagnosis requires testing, listening to patient concerns and other steps.
  • Medication errors -- Giving a patient the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage can have devastating consequences. It is crucial for a hospital to ensure that all medication is necessary for treatment and will not cause harm due to interactions with other drugs.
  • Wrong-patient errors -- Hospitals must make sure they are giving the right patient the right type of treatment. Accidentally switching charts or confusing patients can lead to serious harm for multiple people.
  • Surgical errors -- Any type of surgery is serious, and doctors should be certain they are performing the right procedure on the right patient. Surgical errors can also happen if a doctor leaves an instrument, sponge or other item inside a patient. 

As you can see, hospital errors of any kind can have devastating consequences. If you suffered harm because of any of these things, you could have grounds for a civil claim against the hospital and/or individual care provider. The civil justice system provides a way for medical malpractice victims to seek recompense after suffering from the negligent or reckless actions of a medical professional.

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