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Five all too frequent medical errors

Under medical malpractice law in Colorado, those who are injured because a doctor, nurse or other medical professional failed to live up to an objective standard of care may file a claim and be reimbursed for their losses. Below are five of the most common errors that can be made in the medical field and, thus, five of the most common causes in malpractice claims.

First are diagnostic errors, particularly misdiagnosis. If patients are not diagnosed with the right condition, they will likely undergo unnecessary treatment while their real condition worsens and compromises their quality of life. Next are medication errors, which injure some 1.3 million U.S. patients each year according to the World Health Organization. The doctor may, for example, order the wrong drug or the wrong dosage.

Errors during surgery are a third widespread error. Miscommunication can lead to rare but serious cases of wrong-site surgery or wrong-patient surgery. Fourthly, errors can arise during baby delivery, largely because of complications during the pregnancy, labor or delivery. Doctors may, for instance, make inappropriate use of vacuum extractors or forceps.

A last error is linked to anesthesia. Inexperienced anesthesiologists may administer too much or too little anesthesia, the wrong type of anesthesia or a delayed dosage. These may lead to anything from respiratory problems to brain injuries.

When there is clear proof of doctor malpractice, and when the negligent act can be linked to the injuries, victims may have a strong case on their hands. Nonetheless, they may want a lawyer to provide advice and guidance. The lawyer might even have a network of third parties like investigators, photographers and expert witnesses to strengthen a case. If negotiations do not lead to a fair settlement, the lawyer may prepare the case for a courtroom trial.

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