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Common types of medical errors

Pennsylvania residents depend on medical professionals to correctly diagnose and treat any medical problems they may have. However, doctors, nurses and pharmacists sometimes make mistakes. In fact, the problem is so pervasive that medical errors are the No. 3 most common cause of death in the U.S.

According to experts, many medical errors involve medication. These errors are most likely to occur before, during or after surgery, and they can cause serious injuries or even death. Some of the most common medication mistakes include wrong drug dosage, wrong medication labeling, administering drugs at the wrong time interval, administering the incorrect drug, failure to administer a drug, misreading medication names and failure to monitor a patient for side effects. Meanwhile, many medical errors also occur during childbirth, which can place both mother and child at risk for injuries. Some of the most common birth injuries include brachial palsy disabilities, facial paralysis, fractures and brain injuries from oxygen deprivation.

Hospital infections are another common type of medical error. Patients can obtain life-threatening infections from central line tubes, catheters, ventilators and surgical incisions. These infections happen when medical professionals fail to keep themselves or equipment sterile during medical procedures.

Finally, surgical mistakes are also a common type of medical error. Examples of surgical mistakes include operating on the wrong part of the body, leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient's body or administering the wrong dose of anesthesia.

Victims of medical errors could be owed financial compensation for the harm they have suffered. With the help of an attorney, a victim could file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the health care professional and hospital responsible for making the error. This could lead to a settlement that covers a victim's medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and other related damages.

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