If you were treated by a medical professional and suffered an injury, you're not alone. A survey revealed that 21 percent of respondents say they have been victims of a medial error.
The independent research institution NORC at the University of Chicago released the findings in a report that also found that 31 percent of respondents have been personally involved in the care of someone who has experienced a medical error.
Summarizing the report, Becker's Healthcare noted that the most common types of medical errors involved diagnoses. Nearly 60 percent who personally experienced medical errors or who cared for others who were victims of errors said the mistake involved a medical issue that was not diagnosed, diagnosed incorrectly or was diagnosed later than it should have been.
An experienced attorney at The Deratany Firm is familiar with the common types of medical malpractice. A failure to diagnose an illness or medical problem, and treat the condition properly, is a common error that medical professionals make. They may misinterpret tests or fail to order necessary tests. Such errors can have grave consequences. A delayed diagnosis of cancer, for example, represents one of the most serious errors. If cancer is caught in time, the patient will have an opportunity to receive treatment that could add years to his or her life.
What contributes to a medical error?
According to Becker's Healthcare, 69 percent of adults who experienced medical errors stated that their healthcare providers made mistakes because they lacked attention to detail. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed linked the medical error to having a poorly trained provider. Half of those surveyed said the medical error was due to overworked, tired and stressed healthcare providers.
Here are some other factors that respondents of the survey said were linked to medical errors:
- Healthcare providers telling the patient nothing was wrong when there were problems.
- Medical professionals failing to spend enough time with the patient.
- Lack of communication among providers.
- Providers neglecting to discuss goals or treatment choices with the patient.
- Patients receiving too many unnecessary treatments.
- Providers spending too much time with computers.
The people who took the survey had mixed responses when asked whether patient safety has gotten better or worse over the past several years. Thirty-nine percent said it has stayed the same over the last five years. Twenty-nine percent felt it has improved, while 12 percent said it's gotten worse.
Nearly half of those surveyed notified medical personnel after experiencing a medical error. Nearly one-third said they learned of the error from a healthcare provider or facility staff.
What to do if you're a victim of a medical error
As the survey illustrates, medical errors are not uncommon. Americans every day are victims of mistakes made by doctors, surgeons, nurses and other medical professionals.
Whether it's from a misdiagnosis, an overworked staff or some other factor, a medical error should not be shrugged off as business as usual. If you or a loved one was harmed due to negligence, take action today to protect your rights. Contact The Deratany Firm for a free and confidential consultation. We put experience and resources to work for clients and hold negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions.