According to a study from Johns Hopkins University, medical errors have become the third leading cause of death in the United States. While that’s certainly a startling statistic, it does present the opportunity for medical professionals to evaluate what the common causes of these errors are and how they can be avoided. Understanding the most common causes of medical errors is an important part of protecting yourself and pursuing a medical malpractice suit if the need arises.
Failure to communicate
Whether written or verbal, clear communication is one of the most important aspects of good medical care. When there is a lapse in communication between doctors and patients, nurses, other doctors or other staff members, the opportunity for an error presents itself. This is an issue that can be resolved if everyone commits to clear and concise communication.
Lack of staffing
As is the case in many industries, most medical facilities operate with less-than-ideal staffing numbers. Whether it is because there simply aren’t enough employees on payroll or because administration is trying to find a way to save money, the fact remains that medical errors are often the result of sub-optimal staffing.
Ultimately, as long as there are humans practicing medicine, there will be humans making mistakes. In some cases, this can be attributed to a lack of training or a lack of care, but in other cases, it can be a genuine mistake. However, these medical errors are still subject to medical malpractice suits. The reason for the error isn’t as important as the fact that these errors can result in serious injury or death.
Lack of proper care
The most serious cause of medical error is a general lack of care. Doctors, nurses or other health care professionals who fail to provide proper care to their patients pose a serious risk to the health and safety of the general public.
If you or someone you love has suffered injury or death because of a medical error, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice suit. Finding an attorney to represent you in this claim is one of the most important steps in recovering the damages you are entitled to.