Because doctors are so well trained and medical costs are so high, we expect the treatment we receive from them to perfect. This expectation may be unrealistic and sometimes doctors do make harmless mistakes while helping patients. However, the keyword there is “harmless.” Sadly, many medical mistakes can be incredibly harmful and cause patients great distress. When this happens, it is often the result of some degree of negligence at the hands of a doctor or some member of the medical staff.
Medicine is a complex field and there are many ways a medical professional may make a mistake. One of the most common kinds of mistakes is a mistake during surgery. Surgical errors can be something as irresponsible as performing an operation on the wrong patient, or as forgetful as leaving surgical materials inside the patient’s body.
Another common medical error is when medical professionals make mistakes with a patient’s prescription medicine, such as a pharmacist dispensing incorrect pills or a doctor prescribing the wrong medication. Also, sometimes doctors make the wrong diagnosis and don’t realize their error until it is too late.
When a physician makes an egregious error that is the clear result of negligence, he or she can be held accountable for the patient’s undue pain and suffering in what is called a medical malpractice lawsuit.