Five too-common medical errors

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Nov 08, 2012 in Doctor Errors

In many ways, when you enter a West Virginia hospital, you are entrusting your health to doctors and nurses. You trust they have the knowledge and attention to detail required of someone in their position so that they make sound decisions and help you recover from your illness or injury.

Unfortunately, in some cases doctor errors can leave patients in far worse shape than when they entered the hospital, necessitating surgeries and long-term rehabilitation to try to fix mistakes due to negligence.

We recently read an article listing some terrible medical mistakes that have happened in hospitals around the country, including the following:

Treatment of the wrong patient: the hospital's staff fails to verify that the person about to undergo surgery or receive medication is actually the person who is supposed to be operated on or take medicine. This error has happened a number of times involving patients with similar names.

Left behind: in this example of medical malpractice , the surgical staff fails to account for all equipment used in a surgery. The result is that a tool is left inside the patient's body.

Take a number: ERs get crowded when hospitals don't have enough staff or bed to handle incoming patients. The result can be that a patient gets dangerously worse as they wait for care.

Bubbles in blood: as a tube is removed, air bubbles are sucked into a wound in a patient's chest that hasn't been sealed airtight. This can result in a loss of blood to the patient's heart, lungs, brain and kidneys.

Wrong body part: a surgeon operates on the wrong side of the patient's body. This can be due to a misreading of a chart by staff or the doctor or other preventable error.

These kinds of medical mistakes can leave patients with serious, lifelong health problems requiring expensive care or surgeries. Anyone who has been harmed in any of these ways should discuss their legal options with an attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases .

Source: CNN, "10 shocking medical mistakes," John Bonifield, Nov. 5, 2012

  • Our Charleston law firm represents clients in the kinds of cases you've read about here. For more information, visit our West Virginia medical error page.

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