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The Most Common Medical Errors

September 30, 2019
common medical errors Pittsburgh, PA

Overview of Medical Mistakes in Pennsylvania

Who do you trust the most with recommendations about your physical health and well-being? If you answered your doctor, then you’re not alone. Most Americans agree that they highly trust their medical professional with their health decisions.

Despite this, a startling statistic has captured the attention of the media. Medical mistakes are now the third-leading cause of death in America. Why? What types of medical mistakes should patients be aware of? Below we’ll get into some of the top medical mistakes that patients face.

Prescription Medication Errors

Medication errors happen while the doctor is prescribing, giving or dispensing medication to a patient. These preventable errors injure about 1.3 million Americans each year. Here are a few examples of a medication error:

  • Improper doses
  • Wrong route of administration
  • Mixing medications
  • Pharmacist incorrectly reads the doctor’s prescription

Dosage errors take up nearly half (about 41 percent) of all medication errors.


The second leading medical error is a hospital-acquired infection. When you go to the hospital for treatment, you usually don’t expect to gain an additional infection or illness from the hospital itself. Sadly, it happens more often than you’d like to believe. Over 1.7 million Americans get infections after being hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In many circumstances, a patient’s weakened immune system leaves them more susceptible to infection. At other times, they’re unintentionally exposed to the infection due to improper cleaning procedures at the facility.

Misdiagnosis or Unnecessary Treatment

It’s not always easy to pinpoint the exact cause of a patient’s symptoms. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose and unnecessary treatment are all medical errors. The reason why these situations are so dangerous is that they can all lead to delayed treatment, worsening symptoms and even death.

Never Events

I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories about people who went to have surgery and ended up having the wrong limb amputated. Such horrific accidents are often called “never events” because they’re entirely preventable and should never occur in a medical setting. Unfortunately, surgeons and medical professionals are human, so they’re prone to these types of errors.

The worst “never events” are:

  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Leaving a foreign object in the person’s body or
  • Failing to monitor the patient’s vitals.

Contact a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Medical Error Case in Pennsylvania

Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh medical error attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Erie, Butler, Cranberry Township, Indiana. Call us today at (412) 471-4300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant Street, Suite 720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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