Going to the hospital for care can be a stressful experience, whether you are going in to have a baby or undergo surgery. And the situation can become even more upsetting if medical workers make a mistake.
Unfortunately, too many patients suffer the consequences of this situation. They get sick or develop severe conditions after a medical error. And some mistakes hurt more people than others.
Common medical mistakes
Some of the most common errors medical workers make include:
- Medication errors (e.g., overmedication, administering the wrong medication, giving patients the wrong amount or type)
- Hospital-acquired infections stemming from contamination or neglect
- Diagnosis issues, including delayed diagnoses or misdiagnoses
- Leaving foreign objects like sponges or tools in a patient during surgery
- Wrong-site surgery
When these mistakes happen, they put a patient’s life in jeopardy. In some cases, victims suffer from permanent injuries; in other cases, the error proves to be fatal.
Preventing these and other medical mistakes
Considering how dangerous they are, preventing medical mistakes should be the top priority for every hospital worker and facility in Mississippi. And there are numerous steps and precautions parties can take to avoid them.
Such measures include:
- Strictly complying with approved medical practices
- Enforcing proper hygienic rules, like hand washing and instrument sterilization
- Refraining from treating someone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Getting adequate rest before performing a procedure
- Double-checking a patient’s chart
- Utilizing proper labeling practices
- Installing alarms and notification systems to warn of potential issues
These measures protect patients from harm, so having them in place and observing them is critical.
Who is liable for errors?
Medical workers are human, and humans make mistakes. In some cases, these missteps are minor and cause no lasting damage. And adverse medical outcomes do not necessarily mean someone has made a mistake.
However, when someone does make a mistake, and it leads to severe injuries, life-threatening conditions or death, the person who caused or contributed to the error can be held accountable.