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Three Common Medical Malpractice Errors

Posted by Arthur R. Frost | Sep 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

According to a recent study at Johns Hopkins, medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States. Researchers reviewed medical death rates over an eight-year period and found more than 250,000 death each year were attributable to medical errors.

We have previously discussed the basics of medical malpractice in the state of New York. Here we discuss three common sources of medical malpractice we think you should be aware of.

Errors During Surgery

Errors during surgery can cause injury or death to the patient. There are a variety of types of errors that can occur during surgery, including the following.

  • Removing the wrong appendage.
  • Errors in medication prior to surgery.
  • Errors in medication post-surgery.
  • Insufficient follow-up procedures after surgery.
  • Inadequate instruction to the patient after surgery.
  • Operating on the wrong patient.
  • Performing the incorrect operation.
  • An unsanitary medical environment.
  • Use of equipment improperly sterilized or not sterilized.
  • Damage to another part of the body, such as a close internal organ, during surgery.
  • Failure to remove all medical equipment from the body.

Any of these situations may leave a patient in a significantly worse condition than before their surgery.

Errors in Administering Anesthesia

Anesthesia is, of course, a necessary component of surgical procedures. However, the use of anesthesia is not a “one size fits all” formula. Instead, anesthesiologists must consider a patient's weight, age, medical condition, overall health, and a host of other factors to determine the appropriate type and amount of anesthesia to administer. Errors in administering anesthesia include the following.

  • Insufficient pre-op instructions about when and whether one may consume food or drink.
  • A lack of understanding a person's prior medical history.
  • Failure to monitor vital signs sufficiently.
  • Defective equipment.
  • Too much anesthesia administered.
  • Too little anesthesia administered.
  • Complications with the breathing tube.

Errors in the administration of anesthesia can have very real ramifications, including pain, injury, and death.

Errors or Delays in Diagnosis

A failure to diagnose, or a failure to diagnose properly, is a common form of medical malpractice. Failing to diagnose a condition can lead to the condition advancing and worsening. Undetected, a failure to diagnose a condition may lead to death. Detected later than what is reasonable can result in advanced stages of an illness, additional treatments, or more advanced treatments. A misdiagnosis can lead to unnecessary treatments or treatments that are actually harmful to a person's condition. Nobody wins when a medical professional fails to diagnose a condition or misdiagnoses a condition.

Are You or a Loved One the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you or a loved one was injured during medical care, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice claims hold the treating physician, their staff, and the hospital or medical care facility responsible for your injuries. The time to file a medical malpractice claim is extremely limited. Don't delay. If you think you have a medical malpractice claim, call the office of Frost & Kavanaugh to schedule an appointment at 518-283-3000. There is no charge for a consultation to see if you have a case.

About the Author

Arthur R. Frost

Art graduated from Thomas More College in Merrimack, NH in 1991 with a B.A. in Philosophy, and graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, WA in 1995. He was admitted to practice in all New York State Courts and the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in 1996. He w...


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