The United States has some of the most acclaimed hospitals in the world, staffed by some of the best doctors. Nevertheless, medical professionals are humans who make mistakes, and these mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Even when they are not fatal, medical errors can have a negative or life-changing impact on a patient’s life.
Errors of omission
When a medical professional fails to do something that is required according to the standard of care, that is called an error of omission. Examples include:
- Not strapping a patient into a wheelchair before moving him or her
- Not stabilizing a gurney before transferring a patient
- Not prescribing the right medication
- Not following surgical instructions
- Leaving out or missing important details when diagnosing a medical issue
Errors of commission
When a medical professional provides the wrong treatment or does something to the patient that is not within the standard of care, this is called an error of commission. Common examples include:
- Mislabeling a laboratory specimen, which leads to inappropriate treatment
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Making the wrong decisions during surgery
- Reading a test wrong
- Operating on the wrong limb or body part
- Performing a procedure that is not necessary
Accountability is key
When potential clients call our firm, they always tell us that their goal is to ensure that other patients do not experience the same fate they have. While they may be entitled to receive compensation for what they have experienced, including their pain and suffering, they also may seek an outcome that involves positive change in the medical system. A medical malpractice lawsuit may help to bring to light preventable errors.
Anyone who has been a victim of a medical error who has suffered from significant harm may benefit from contacting an experienced attorney to discuss his or her legal options.