It is just a fact of life. People can and do make mistakes. Maybe it is the fact that they are under lots of stress. Saving someone’s life would definitely add stress to the job. Maybe its the long hours and few breaks and holidays they have. Maybe the stress and mistakes are due to poor working conditions or the lack of other doctors needed to meet the needs of that community. Whatever the reason, medical mistakes are a growing concern. The medical field employs lots of people because almost everyone needs a doctor at some point in their life. Let’s look at some of the most common and shocking medical mistakes.
15. Losing patients
Losing patients may sound rather bizarre but you would be surprised at how often it happens. When doctors are dealing with patients who suffer from dementia or a mental illness, this is often the case. Patients who suffer with mental illness can become more disoriented than other people. Add on the change of location, medically prescribed medications and you can find even the best of patients confused and disoriented.
14. Giving the wrong prescription or drugs
Another mistake is giving a patient the wrong prescription or drug. When being prescribed medicine of any kind, make sure your physician knows what medicines you are already taking and which medicines you are allergic to.
Also make sure you know exactly how to take the medicine and the side effects. It is important to read the labels on each and every prescription. You need to know how medicines interact with each other so you can know the warning signs if you are having a reaction to medicines once you are know longer in the doctor’s care.
13. Avoidable delay in treatment
Whether the wait to get an appointment is too long or the wait in the emergency room is too long, sometimes avoidable delays in treatments can cause serious trouble. While it is true that some people cry wolf, it may be one reason why there are so many patients and not enough doctors. If the health care system did not have to jump through hoops of red tape, maybe patients would not have the waits they do.
Society now is inclined to seek medical assistance for every little ailment they experience. With so many patients, doctors have to schedule and reschedule leaving patients who are in immediate need of medical attention waiting.
12. Administering the wrong dose of Anesthesia
Death due to general anesthesia is another common mistake. Recent studies indicate a rise in death rates from the administration of anesthesia. One recent study by the German Medical Association shows that there is a small (7 out of every million patients) rise in death due to anesthesia.
The study does state that the quality of anesthesia has not declined, but the fact that people are living longer and older people are having more surgeries than ever.
11. Too many blood transfusions
Another problem is patients getting too many blood transfusions. Blood transfusions are given when a patient needs additional blood due to a blood loss. Blood transfusions can be from an injury, disease, or a surgery. Anytime additional blood is given there are risks. Sometimes the wrong blood type is given and causes problems. Usually this does not happen. Sometimes too much new blood can cause trouble with the immune system.
A body can produce antibodies that will attack the new blood cells. This may cause reactions that could need immediate medical attention. This reactions include fevers, shortness of breath, fast heart rate, hives, pain, and even death.
10. Patient blood type mix-ups
Using the wrong type of blood can be very dangerous. Studies show that a transfusion reaction causes antibodies to attack red blood cells. This can cause red blood cells to group together and clog blood vessels. At this point the cells can be destroyed. Jaundice can occur. If people want to bank their own blood for emergencies, they can.
Blood that is used is screened and sorted but this cannot eliminate all risks of blood transfusion reactions. Luckily you will be in a hospital or doctor’s office when a transfusion takes place. That would ensure you had immediate medical attention.
9. Making the wrong diagnosis
When seeking medical attention, it is not unheard of to receive the wrong diagnosis. It is reported that about 160,000 hospitalized people each year die or have permanent damage because of misdiagnosis. Whether this is due to a paper mix up or something else, you must know how important it is to know what procedure you are having and be aware that this can happen.
In most cases, hospitals issue you a bracelet with all of your personal information on it. Listen carefully when the nurse or doctor speaks with you about what is wrong. Know what your symptoms are and make sure the medical professionals do too. Check everything and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
8. Central line-associated bloodstream infection
Central line associated bloodstream infections result with thousands of deaths each year. This happens when a tube is placed into a large vein to administer fluids, medications, and blood. The catheter, also known as a central line, is estimated to be used more than 300 million times each year.
The problem arises when the outside of the catheter is contaminated. These germs then enter the blood stream causing infections. Some of these infections can be very dangerous. If not detected quickly, death can be the result. pickle
7. Too much oxygen for premature babies
Premature babies are at risk because they are born too early. Sometimes this means that lungs and other organs have not fully developed. When a premature baby arrives, many times they need extra oxygen. Oxygen is needed in order for the cells in a body to work properly. For premature babies, too much or too little oxygen can cause serious problem.
Sometimes fatalities can occur. Too little oxygen means energy production decreases. Cells may begin to die. Babies may not grow properly. Developing organs can be injured and damaged. Too much oxygen can also damage lungs. It can also cause brain and eye problems.
6. Removing the wrong body part/organs
Removing the wrong body parts or organs may sound ridiculous, but it does happen. Studies show that about 0.5% of surgeries result with the wrong part or organ removed sometimes with disastrous results. There are ways of reducing this mistake.
When you are speaking with your doctor, know what they are doing. Hospitals now mark places on the patient’s body so there are fewer errors. Pay attention so you and your doctor know what’s going on. Ask questions if you feel uncertain.
5. Health care-associated infections
When you go to a doctor’s office or the emergency room, you know there are other sick people who are there. This increases your risk of contracting germs and illnesses from surfaces and contact with other people.
Medical facilities are a hot bed for germs so take the recommended precautions and wash your hands often. The office workers disinfect, but you need to do your part as well if you want to stay healthy.
4. Unhygienic surgical tools
Unclean surgical tools are always a risk when you are in the operating room. This hidden threat exposes patients to infections because of tissue, blood, and other items let on unclean devices that are used in surgeries. Instruments used in surgery must be properly cleaned and sterilized.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medical devices. They are now looking into the manufacturing of the devices to see if changes in the design can help with easier cleaning.
3. Catheter-associated urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infections caused by the use of a catheter is very common in patients. Anytime a foreign object is placed in the human body, the body tries to eliminate it.
Due to unclean tubing or a reaction in the body, infections may occur. These can be treated fairly easily but must be addressed in a timely fashion.
2. Performing the wrong operation
Performing the wrong operation is more common than you think. The best defense against this happening is being aware of what your procedure is and making sure the medical professionals know as well.
Remember that you are not the only patient the doctors have. Doctors are human too and they can and do make mistakes. Be your own advocate and ask questions and voice concerns.
1. Leaving surgical tools inside their patients
Probably the most common mistake when having surgery is the medical team leaving an instrument used during surgery inside the body. This happens much more than your realize. It can happen when the surgical staff doesn’t count instruments correctly or not at all.
The symptoms can be unexpected pain, swelling, and a fever after surgery. Seek immediate medical attention if you have these symptoms.