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What kinds of doctor errors can harm you?

Maryland residents usually trust their doctors and health care providers. Considering that doctors spend years earning a medical degree and obtaining experience in a particular field of medical study, it may be safe to say that doctors usually know better. However, doctors are no different from anyone else. They are human and can make mistakes during their practice. What is complicated about these mistakes is that a doctor's error can result in unexpected complications and a worsened medical condition for the patient.

A doctor's error may range from the simple to complex. The most common doctor error is misdiagnosis. When a doctor fails to accurately discover what ails a patient, it may have severe consequences for the patient because the key to the treatment and other procedures is to receive a proper diagnosis.

Another error would be the unnecessary treatment, testing and procedures. If a patient undergoes a procedure that was never needed in the first place, the patient is at greater risk for injury, which can worsen, instead of improve, the patient's condition.

Medication mistakes are no different from other errors that can kill a patient. The wrong dosage of medication may have a deteriorating effect on the patient, similar to a wrong diagnosis of a patient.

Another prevalent doctor error would be the "never events". Never events refer to surgical errors that can be easily prevented, such as operating on the wrong patient or leaving foreign objects in the patient's body after surgery. Cases of events that should have never happened are often fatal because it usually takes some time before the patient discovers the mistake.

Doctor errors are painful reminders that despite extensive training, no person is perfect. A simple doctor error can greatly impact a patient's life. A worsened medical condition may lead to a longer hospital stay, larger hospital bills and greater distress to the patient's family.

Source: Psychology Today, "10 Medical Errors That Can Kill You in the Hospital," Accessed Nov. 20, 2014

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