According to a new study published in the Annals of Surgery, medical errors during post-operative care are common following major elective surgery, which could put recovering patients at risk for severe complications. In fact, researchers from the U.K. found that patients at teaching hospitals in particular suffered up to five procedural medical mistakes during post-operative recovery, exposing them to potential harm. If you have suffered injuries or illness that you believe to be associated with a medical error in Oklahoma, contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Atkins & Markoff to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Oklahoma doctor or hospital responsible for your care, in order to pursue financial compensation for the harm you have sustained as a result of negligence or inadequate medical care.
MEDICAL ERRORS CAN CAUSE PATIENTS HARM
The researchers involved in the medical malpractice study indicated that post-operative medical mistakes commonly included the following: prescription drug errors (patients receiving the wrong medication or drugs being administered incorrectly), patients being given incorrect instructions, or incorrect test results or diagnoses on the part of medical professionals. The study authors suggest that more than half of these so-called “process failures” result in serious harm to patients, and nearly all of them could have been avoided. While previous research has focused on surgical mistakes that occur during surgery, this study sought to examine post-operative care exclusively.
MEDICAL MISTAKES ARE DANGEROUS AND PREVENTABLE
Throughout the study, researchers from the Imperial College in London visited patients daily at a large gastrointestinal surgery center, observing the care they received from the first post-operative day until discharged by an independent surgeon. With a total of 659 days of post-operative care observation, researchers recorded 256 process failures. Researchers noted that, in 85% of the cases, the medical mistake was preventable, and in 51%, patients suffered harm as a result of the medical error. “Process failures are common in post-operative care, are highly preventable, and frequently cause harm to patients,” the researchers concluded. “Interventions to prevent process failures will improve the reliability of surgical post-operative care and have the potential to reduce hospital stay.”
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS FOR MEDICAL ERRORS
According to the results of the study, medication errors were the most common medical mistake, along with the management of tubes, lines and drains, and pain control interventions. Unfortunately, simple communication problems were a major source of medical errors, and were found to be the main reason for such process failures in more than half of the cases reviewed. Too often, patients who rely on their doctor or surgeon for quality medical care end up suffering additional harm because of a serious medical error. If you have been the victim of a medical mistake in Oklahoma City, or elsewhere in Oklahoma, our skilled medical malpractice lawyers at Atkins & Markoff can help. Contact our Oklahoma City law firm today to explore your compensation options and protect yourself from further harm.