Top Three Most Common Washington Medical Malpractice Injuries Surprise Most Patients

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 1, 2016

When you hear the terms, “medical error”, “medical mistake,” or “medical malpractice injury,” most people picture surgeons operating on the wrong body part or leaving tools and equipment inside the patient.  While these errors do happen, they are less common than many others.  As experienced Seattle medical malpractice lawyers know, the most common medical malpractice injuries are often surprising.

Here are the most common causes of medical malpractice injuries:

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis

Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor sees a patient’s signs and symptoms, but “reads” them wrong. As a result, the patient receives the treatment for the diagnosed condition rather than their actual condition. This can cause serious or even irreversible harm.

A “misdiagnosed” patient was diagnosed, but with the wrong condition.  A “delayed-diagnosed” patient was seen by doctors, but not diagnosed at all, or diagnosed days, weeks, or even years later. Since many conditions respond best when they receive the correct treatment early, a delayed diagnoses can have serious or fatal repercussions for the patient.

Communication and Medication Errors

Communication and Medication errors can occur in many ways.  A doctor may prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong dose.  A nurse may administer the wrong medication, the wrong dose, or with the wrong timing (like giving an “every 12 hour” medication every eight hours).  Or, a pharmacy may give a patient the wrong pills, the wrong dose, or the wrong instructions for taking a medication.  After misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, medication errors are the most common form of medical malpractice. Like other forms of malpractice, they can have catastrophic results. We trust our health care providers to accurately and timely communicate information about our health needs and medication errors.  When medical communication breaks down, medication errors and medical mistakes often follow.

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Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. is ready to help anyone hurt in a medical malpractice situation. Contact us today at (888) 228-3860.

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