News reports have shed light on the increasing number of medical mistakes and errors being made by doctors and hospital personnel, leading to an increase in medical malpractice cases and claims involving negligence. Unfortunately, there are situations in which a wrong diagnosis, delays in treatment, or mistakes in performing procedures can prove fatal for the patient involved. In these tragic situations, surviving family members may be able to hold those responsible accountable through a wrongful death claim.
Common Hospital Errors that Can Prove Fatal
Medical providers are just as likely as anyone else to make mistakes and errors in judgement. Unfortunately, this can end up proving fatal for patients they treat. According to an alarming 2016 report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, medical mistakes have increased dramatically and are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice now kills more than 250,000 people each year, deaths that would have otherwise been preventable had patients received the right type and quality of care.
A CBS News report uncovered some of the most frequent types of mistakes made in hospitals by doctors, nurses, and other staff members, which could end up proving fatal to patients in their care. Among the most common include the following:
- Health care acquired infections: These can occur as the result of a lack of sterile environments, as well as due to improper wound care, and contaminated catheters and intravenous lines.
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia: This occurs due to a lack of care on the part of hospital staff in leaving patients who are on a breathing tube to lay flat, rather than at the recommended 30 degree angle.
- Anesthesia mistakes: Before any type of sedation is given, make sure it is medically necessary and that the anesthesiologist has the correct information on your patient chart.
- Improper care in the ICU: Patients in intensive care who are seen by their regular doctor rather than by a critical care specialist are 30 percent more likely to not make it.
- Deep vein thrombosis: This can occur due to blood clots that form post-surgery and after other types of treatments. Overweight patients are among those most at risk. Doctors and nurses need to be alert and aware of the risks, and can use special medications and compression devices to help prevent blood clots from forming
- Medication errors: One of the most common types of medical mistakes is medication errors, in which patients are given the wrong types of medication for their condition, or in the wrong dosage.
Do You Suspect Hospital Error Played a Role in Your Loved One’s Death?
If you suspect doctor and hospital errors may have played a role in your loved one’s death, call or contact the Johnston Law Firm online and request a free consultation. We can arrange a one on one meeting with our Portland wrongful death attorney, who can advise you on the options available in your case. No amount of money can bring back your loved one or ease your grief, but holding those responsible can help provide a sense of justice for your family.