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How Common Are Medical Errors?

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How Common Are Medical Errors?

How Common Are Medical Errors?

Medical errors happen each year and can lead to patient harm that ranges from mild to severe. There are several different types of medical errors that can happen during examinations, medical procedures, surgeries, prescriptions, and treatments. You may not have to pay for the damages if negligence was involved. Reach out to a Wilmington medical malpractice attorney to learn more.


In the United States, the rate of medical errors was so high, that they were considered the third-highest cause of death in 2016 with around 250,000 reported How Common Are Medical Errors?deaths a year. A medical error may or may not always involve negligence. Many medical errors are genuine unforeseen mistakes.

Most medical errors also do not seem to involve careless or reckless doctors. A lot of medical errors happen due to systemic issues like problematic protocols and poor coordination of care. Miscommunication and disorganization in medical settings can play large roles in the rate of medical errors.

Failure to follow certain medical protocols and safety tips can increase the chances of a medical error. Recommended protocols might be ignored in times when things are rushed and staff numbers are low. This leads to placing multiple responsibilities on staff that may not have adequate training or enough time to balance everything at once.

Stress can also increase the chances of a medical error. So can medical professionals who act carelessly or recklessly. This might mean breaking recommended guidelines, rushing a procedure, using broken equipment, or performing a procedure with little to no competence.


You might be able to sue for a medical error if the medical error caused harm to you. The harm can be physical or emotional. This is called medical malpractice and may include medical errors like:

  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication errors
  • Anesthesia administration errors
  • Medical procedure errors
  • Misusing a medical device

The hardest part involved with suing for a medical error is proving negligence. Reckless or careless actions or failures to act must be proven. Otherwise, the medical error could be classified as a genuine unforeseen mistake with no liability.

For example, a patient who refuses to answer questions might not be able to sue for a diagnostic error. This assumes the doctor made good faith attempts to gather as much information as possible. However, a lawsuit could be filed if the doctor failed to ask important questions to fully assess the likely diagnosis.

Once you know the medical professional acted negligently, the next step is collecting evidence. Consider contacting a Wilmington malpractice lawyer who can help you do this. An experienced lawyer can help you prove all aspects of your medical malpractice lawsuit.


Proving a medical malpractice claim can be difficult. Discuss what happened to you with a Delaware medical malpractice lawyer who can help you take legal action. All you have to do is contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson today at (302) 295-5050 for a free consultation. Our legal team might be able to help you obtain compensation for medical bills, emotional distress, and lost income.

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