When you undergo medical treatment, you expect that you will receive proper care. After all, the doctors and medical staff are there to help you, right?
However, a recent study by Johns Hopkins Medicine reveals that medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, according to the study, medical errors now account for more deaths than things like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and strokes.
Common causes of medical errors
These statistics may rightfully leave you wondering what causes so many medical errors. Many of these reasons center around communication, information flow and failure to follow directions.
Medical treatment necessarily involves coordination and cooperation between several people besides just your doctor. You typically interact with nurses or other medical staff, who are required to accurately share your information with each other and provide each other with any updates.
When there is a breakdown in this communication, medical errors are more likely to occur. Your risk of an error can be even higher if the facility is understaffed or there is a high turnover rate.
Not following directions
Failure to follow directions and policies is another common reason or medical errors. Even if policies are followed, the policies themselves may be insufficient, or there may even be no policies at all.
This leaves doctors or medical staff wondering about the appropriate way to do things, and with no policy in place or not training, the risk of an error is high.
Lack of training
Doctors and staff should be thoroughly trained on how to use each piece of equipment or technology. While sometimes these things can fail or malfunction on their own, inadequate training can also play a role.
Anyone who has been damaged by a doctor, hospital or medical staff’s negligence knows the harm it can cause. A medical malpractice attorney can help you aggressively pursue compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit and help hold those responsible accountable.