Slate's Law Blog Different Types of Medical Errors in Malpractice Cases

When a patient visits a doctor’s office for an evaluation or treatment, or when a patient enters into a hospital for an outpatient procedure in Santa Fe, that patient should be able to expect that the hospital, the healthcare facility, and the provider will live up to the standard of care established by the medical community. However, much too often, healthcare providers do not provide the same standard of care that a reasonable physician in the same field in Santa Fe would provide. In many of these situations, a patient will suffer a serious injury because of a healthcare provider’s negligence or mistake.

There are many different types of medical errors that can give rise to medical malpractice claims in New Mexico. Articles from Boston University School of Public Health and Psychology Today discuss these mistakes, and we want to explain how and where they happen.

Diagnostic Errors

Diagnostic errors are any mistakes that occur in the diagnosing process or stage. A diagnostic error may include a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. For example, if a patient visits a doctor and seeks advice about symptoms, if the doctor misdiagnoses that patient’s actual condition, the patient may not receive timely treatment and the actual condition may worsen significantly. Similarly, in such a situation, if a doctor does not accurately diagnose a serious condition in a timely manner, such as cancer, the patient’s cancer may grow and spread, and it may become impossible for the patient to recover.

In many situations, doctors are responsible for diagnostic errors, but a laboratory or lab technician may also bear responsibility if a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis occurs because of a lab mistake.

Medication Errors

Medication mistakes can result from many different parties’ errors, from nurse practitioners and physicians to pharmacists. A medication error involves any kind of mistake in which a medication is prescribed or filled in the wrong quantity, the wrong medication is prescribed or filled, or the healthcare provider fails to consider drug interactions with other medications the patient currently takes.

Surgical Errors

Many surgical errors are known as “never events,” or errors that should never occur. Surgical errors can include operating on the wrong patient, operating on the wrong part of the patient’s body, or leaving a foreign object inside the patient’s body, such as a sponge or towel.

Hospital-Acquired Infections

Hospital-acquired infections typically occur in hospital settings when a patient receives negligent care. The hospital and its staff may be responsible for failing to provide timely care to a patient, for example, or for failing to adequately sterilize equipment.

Contact a Santa Fe, New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or someone you love suffered serious harm because of a medical mistake, you could be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. It is difficult to know with certainty whether you have a valid malpractice claim until you can have a Santa Fe medical malpractice attorney evaluate your case. An advocate at our firm can assess the merits of your case today and can discuss your options for seeking financial compensation. Contact Slate Stern Law today for more information about filing a claim.

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