Medical errors include operating on wrong body part, leaving objects inside patients
New Jersey residents depend on medical caregivers to treat illness and injury capably. Regrettably, all too often medical professionals cause harm. According to a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital, more than 250,000 people die every year in the United States due to medical negligence, with millions more injured. The doctor estimated that medical error could be the third largest cause of death in the nation.
New Jersey medical mistakes
In one case, a man was given tests that revealed a 90 percent blockage of a coronary artery, but was told to go home and come back in eight days instead of being treated immediately. That night he had a heart attack. The doctors had neglected to take into account his medical history, which would have told them he’d been suffering increasing chest pain over the previous few weeks.
In a similar case in Passaic County, New Jersey, an unfortunate patient died after his physicians did not diagnose and treat a heart attack. A doctor allegedly failed to read his EKG properly.
Additional medical mix-ups
Medical staff are supposed to check hospital identification wristbands before doing so even if they are giving a patient an aspirin, but they sometimes neglect this crucial step. Mistaken identity can mean a patient receives a medical procedures or treatment meant for someone else.
Additionally, surgeons can operate on the wrong body part, because of a misreading of a patient’s medical chart or missing marks on the patient’s body. It is not paranoid for a patient to reconfirm the correct location for surgery before an operation.
It is also possible for medical staff to get tubes confused. A patient may have both a feeding tube and a chest tube, and medications can be dispensed into the wrong tube. Every tube should be carefully traced back to the patient’s body to make sure the right tube is receiving each dose given.
In some cases, objects are left inside patients after surgery that should not be there. Surgical staff can err by failing to count surgical materials accurately and verify the count after surgery. Leaving an item inside a patient results in complications and sometimes death afterward.
Something else nobody wants or needs is a hospital infection. Nurses and doctors should be washing their hands before touching any patient, but they sometimes fail to take this measure causing to be infected with bacteria.
Legal recourse for medical mistakes
People who have been injured through medical errors like these and others may be entitled to compensation and are encouraged to contact an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer can offer advice on options available under the law as they pertain to individual circumstances.