Medical errors are errors that medical professionals or healthcare givers make. The error can be of different natures, such as a surgical towel forgotten in a patient’s body after surgery or wrong administration of the injection.
In this article, I’ll be discussing medical errors. And in the end, you will know if it can cause death. For detailed information, see hospital errors.
What Are Common Medical Errors?
Medical errors are referred to as the preventable adverse effect of medical care. Medical errors are considered preventable but dangerous and life-threatening to the patient.
Some of the various errors that commonly occur during healthcare service include the following.
A doctor might give the wrong diagnosis to a patient for various reasons. It could result from not asking the right question from the patient, not ordering the right test, and so on. Misdiagnosis can have serious consequences in the end.
2. Delayed diagnosis
Diagnosis should be carried out over a timely and reasonable period. A healthcare giver could end up delaying diagnosis because they do not have the needed information at their disposal. Medical harm can be incurred due to this error.
3. Medication error
The patient needs the right medication and in the appropriate proportion to get well. But when the doctor fails to read carefully or ask the right question on drug interaction, medication might not be rightly given to the patient.
4. Bad medical devices
Failure of a medical device to perform accurately or as expected leads to low efficiency when malfunctioning. And this can result in harming patients.
5. Failure to instruct patient for self-care
Another form of medical error that is mostly neglected is the failure of the healthcare giver to give follow-up instructions to patients after they leave the hospital. How they should be taking additional drugs prescribed, what they should be eating often afterward, and so on, are examples of what the doctor should have given a patient who is leaving for their house.
Can Medical Error Cause Death?
Over the years, medical mistakes have been identified to cause the death of a large number of people. The institute of medicine (IOM) published “to err is to Human,” which revealed that 98000 people died due to medical errors.
Several deaths have occurred from 1999 to 2013, which is the latest and highest record of medical error recorded. In 2010, there were 180,000.
Most medical errors do occur from spoiled devices and are not directly linked to human error.
So we can boldly say that medical errors can lead to death.
What To Do To Prevent Medical Error?
The following are strongly recommended to prevent medical errors.
- Take proper documentation of the patient
- Listen to your patient while they discuss their suffering with you. If you seem uncomfortable, try your best to endure discomfort and listen to your patients.
- Give information to the patient about the consequence of an action you are about to perform on them.
- Show little leniency while treating them to ask for their information. A bedside discussion is a good way to go.