10 Medical Errors That May Spell Medical Malpractice

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No one wants to consider the possibility that they may fall victim to medical malpractice or negligence. This possibility is one that becomes reality too often, however. New Jersey residents may be inspired to be more proactive in ensuring the quality of the care they receive after reading about some actual horrific medical mistakes. All seem to merit claims of medical malpractice or negligence.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins University indicate that medical errors are responsible for over a 250,000 deaths annually in the United States and likely millions more injuries. A recent CNN report offers a view of just how shocking some mistakes are.

The report presents a list of 10 case studies that run the gamut, from treating the wrong patient to improper care. In most cases, the patient survived but is maimed. In others, the mistake resulted in death. And the one thing that all the cases have in common is that they could have been prevented with more communication and proper attention to meeting healthcare standards.

Here, in brief are the cases:

  1. Pregnant woman undergoes CT scan that could harm the fetus. Staff failed to check her identification.
  2. Twelve-by-twelve-inch surgical sponge left inside a man led to eventual intestinal perforations.
  3. Alzheimer’s patient wanders and goes unnoticed for four days. She later dies of dehydration
  4. Fake doctor treats a patient who only gets worse.
  5. Infant loses limbs because ER nurse fails to assess properly for flesh-eating bacteria and delays care.
  6. Nurse improperly removes chest tube in patient due for discharge. Air bubbles enter blood stream. Patient dies from organ failure.
  7. Eye surgeon operates on the wrong eye of a child. Doctor says she lost her sense of direction
  8. Man recovering in the hospital dies of infection contracted while in recovery. Doctors were helpless.
  9. Caregiver puts medication into a chest tube instead of a feeding tube resulting in an infant’s death.
  10. Malfunctioning anesthesia equipment results in a woman having tumor removed being awake but unable to speak to tell doctors she feels the scalpel.

Mistakes happen. But the consequences of medical negligence mistakes can be deadly or leave someone maimed. New Jersey residents who believe they are victims of medical malpractice or negligence may be eligible to seek financial reparation and would be well advised to consult an attorney about their case.

Source: CNN.com, “10 shocking medical mistakes,” John Bonifield and Elizabeth Cohen, June 10, 2012

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