Medical malpractice is something that happens every day, and it can happen to anyone. It takes many different forms, from doctors giving people the wrong medications to carrying out the wrong surgical procedures. In some cases, the mistakes that the medical teams make result in fatal injuries. Other people will have their lives changed forever.
But as common as this is, it’s something that a lot of people don’t spend too much time thinking about before they go in to get medical care. They trust the medical professionals. It’s important to know how widespread this issue is and just how dire the ramifications can actually be.
Only two things take more lives
To underscore this danger, one report listed medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States. The only things that took more lives on an annual basis were heart disease and cancer.
Granted, some of these fatal medical mistakes could have happened while treating people who had either heart disease or cancer. But this still changes the type of care that they get and it can lead to negative medical outcomes that never would have happened otherwise.
How do these mistakes occur?
Fatal mistakes can take many forms. A doctor who is carrying out a complicated surgery could make a mistake that leads to excessive bleeding, for instance. A nurse who is bringing a patient their medication could accidentally walk into the wrong room and give that medication to someone who is allergic to it. A technician could be assigned to monitor a patient’s vitals during a procedure and then get distracted, meaning that they don’t notice when those vital signs plummet.
But no matter how it happens, it’s very clear to surviving family members that this was not the type of medical care that they had expected or that their loved one deserved. That’s when it’s time to start looking into potential legal options.