Victims and their family often face severe financial hardships following a medical error due to new medical costs and lost wages due to missing work. In 2016 researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital published the results of a comprehensive study on medical errors, which estimated that medical errors result in 250,000 deaths each year. This estimate ranks medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer. Medical malpractice occurs when an individual suffers injury or death due to negligence or incompetence on the part of a medical professional. In addition, medical malpractice often leads to significant injuries, which can leave survivors with life-altering disabilities and disfigurements. Among the most common forms of malpractice observed in the medical community are:
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
When a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, misses a diagnosis, or makes a delayed diagnosis, the recommended treatment may no longer be an effective option for the patient.
Negligence from a physician or nurse can occur before, during, or after childbirth that causes injury to the infant or mother.
An incorrect dosage or methods of administration are just two kinds of negligent medication mistakes that can cause serious harm.
Errors by an anesthesiologist, such as failing to monitor vital signs or administering too much medication, oftentimes lead to fatal consequences.
Negligence can occur before, during, or after surgery and leave patients with infections and other complications.
A variety of injuries can occur as the result of pharmacy malpractice. Injuries and illnesses due to a medical error can be evident soon after taking a drug or take years to develop. Illnesses and injuries that may be caused by a medical error include:
Birth defects or pregnancy complications
This occurs when the pharmacist fills a prescription with a dose that is higher or lower than what was prescribed by the doctor.
This can occur when the doctor prescribes the wrong medication, or when the pharmacist fills the wrong prescription.
This can occur when the pharmacist accidentally gives out the wrong prescription, or switches two patients’ prescriptions.
Failure to counsel patient
Part of a pharmacist’s job is to provide information to the patient about possible drug interactions and complications.
Prescribing medication without a license
This may occur when an illegitimate online retailer fills a medication order online without a valid prescription.