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Medical Malpractice in Hospitals: Five Common Mistakes to Know

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When you go to the hospital, it's usually a last resort for when you're really ill. You expect to receive appropriate medical care so you can get better and return home. But, according to a recent Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report, medical errors are the third leading cause of deaths in our country—more than 250,000 each year. What common mistakes happen at the hospital that could cause harm and lead to a medical malpractice claim?

Five Mistakes to Watch Out for If You're Treated at a Hospitalhospital

While there are many ways in which a doctor or hospital staff member might engage in medical malpractice, these five are the most documented:

  • Falls. Slip and fall accidents can occur when liquids and other debris aren't cleaned up promptly; a tripping hazard is caused by cords or misplaced equipment; or patients who are at risk of falling aren't assessed and helped. Slip and fall accidents may cause broken bones,internal bleeding, head injuries, and the risk of other complications from an extended hospital stay.
  • Antibiotic misuse. A large percentage of patients receive unnecessary antibiotic treatment, or the wrong antibiotic, for their condition. This compromises a patient's recovery or may even make the situation worse. Over time, if too much of the body's good bacteria is threatened, patients may develop life-threatening infections or an immunity to antibiotics.
  • Incorrect medication. Patients are frequently given the wrong treatment for their medical condition, or the wrong dosage. If the medical team doesn't know all the medications a patient is taking and his allergies to them, an incompatible medication can be prescribed that may cause a serious reaction.
  • Excessive bed rest. If a patient is allowed to lie in bed too long, muscles may atrophy and increase his fall risk. Some studies show gentle movement helps a person recover more quickly, so if his medical condition permits, a staff person can assist him getting out of bed several times a day.
  • Chaotic discharge. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can occur when patients are discharged. Some patients are discharged before they're ready to leave, aren't given proper instructions for home recovery, or don't receive proper follow-up for continued care. This may cause a person’s condition to worsen, or new problems develop, which sometimes require another hospitalization.


Were you the victim of medical malpractice while being treated in a hospital? You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney who understands Idaho’s complicated medical malpractice laws. Call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment to learn about your legal options.

Category: Medical Malpractice


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