Understanding the range of medical errors

Medications, infections and falls are just some of the most commonly cited factors in medical mistakes today.

Knowing that medical mistakes can and do happen, it is important that people in Florida educate themselves about the types of situations that may increase their risk of being impacted by such an error. The more patients know, the more they may be able to advocate for their safety or to seek compensation after a problem occurs.

Falls, medications and infections are just some of the often cited problems in medical errors.

What makes a fall so bad?

Falls are noted as involved in many errors by the Patient Safety Movement and by the United States Centers for Disease Control and prevention. It is important to note that a fall when in the care of a medical professional can be bad in many ways.

For starters, many injuries may result when a person falls. They may experience a concussion if they hit their head. They may break or fracture bones. They may also exacerbate their original condition.

In addition, falls are problematic as they are seen as being largely preventable. Part of what health care professionals are tasked with is keeping patients safe and this includes preventing falls.

What type of medication mistakes might happen?

As explained by U.S. News and World Report, there are many points in a medication's journey at which an error may be introduced. A physician may prescribe an incorrect drug or inappropriate dose. A pharmacist may incorrectly fill the prescription. A nurse or other provider may not administer the drug properly. These are just a few examples of what may go wrong with medications. It is no wonder that medication errors are on so many of the lists for the top medical errors.

What type of infections might be mistakes?

Doctors, nurses and others in hospitals and clinics should follow what they know to be the right protocols involving hand hygiene but this may not always happen. When unclean hands touch patients, IV tubes and other equipment, germs can be spread. This may result in blood infections at central line points, urinary tract infections where catheters enter the body and more.

As with falls, these types of infections are preventable. When they happen, they may put already frail or ill people at serious risk of injury or worsening conditions.

How can I get help if I think a mistake has happened?

The first thing a person in Florida should do if they suspect a medical error is certainly to address any immediate medical needs. After that, they should contact an attorney to learn how to seek compensation for the problems that may occur as a result of the error.

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