Medical Errors

7 Common Types of Medical Errors

It is estimated that medical errors are among the three leading causes of death, together with heart disease and cancer. Some common causes of medical errors include communication problems between the patient and the doctor and inadequate staffing at health facilities.

Unfortunately, medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. An analysis of data showed that over 250k deaths per year are the result of medical errors. 

Some of the common medical mistakes in hospitals, not all of them deadly but are serious nonetheless, are listed below. 


Misdiagnosis is a common error made by physicians.  Some conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed are heart disease and cancer. When a physician fails to diagnose such a life-threatening condition like those two, it can lead to severe consequences like death.  Also, a wrong diagnosis means that a patient will not be treated for their disease. If they need urgent medical attention, then an improper treatment will prolong their suffering or give them another condition they did not have. The worst-case scenario is that if the wrong medication is administered, they might die.

Delayed Diagnosis

At times, a patient will go to the hospital and explain their condition to a physician, but the physician will delay diagnosing the patient. This is common when doctors assume that the patient is just exaggerating about any medical conditions. A delayed misdiagnosis extends the patients’ suffering, and at the same time, their condition can worsen, causing additional problems.

Faulty Medical Devices

A bad medical device is not necessarily the fault of a medical practitioner. The manufacturer of the equipment is the one at fault on this one. They are supposed to ensure that their equipment has been tested, functions well, and will not harm patients when used.  This is why there are cases of equipment being recalled from the market and additional surgeries to fix issues caused by faulty equipment.  Suppose manufacturers fail to disclose any risks associated with a device or fail to give you this information to consent to use the product. In that case, this is considered a medical error.

Birth Injuries

Many claims filed for medical malpractice are against the OBGYN for mistakes related to childbirth. Common birth injuries include shoulder dystocia, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsy. Learn more about childbirth injuries and the effect they can have.


Patients can pick up infections easily when undergoing medical procedures. Medical practitioners must ensure that they are performing procedures under conditions that limit the risk of infection. A hospital needs to be cleaned and sanitized frequently and all tools sterilized. While most infections can be treated, there are patients whose conditions can worsen because of the infection.

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are common where you will find a surgical team operated on the wrong side of a body part, left a tool or sponge inside a patient, or even operated on the wrong patient.

Prescription Drug errors

There are cases where doctors have prescribed the wrong drugs to a patient. A patient’s condition will deteriorate because they are not using the right medication for their illness. Also, they could develop another condition caused by taking drugs that the body does not need.

Most people sue for medical malpractice because a medical error can alter your life and, in some extreme cases causing death. It is best to find a lawyer with experience in the field to take your case to be compensated for damages.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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