Usually surgical errors get the most press: “a neurosurgeon at the hospital began a surgery by drilling the right side of the patient’s head, even though a CT scan showed bleeding on the left side” “a Tampa, Fla. surgeon mistakenly removed the wrong leg of his patient” “a surgeon at the Milford Regional Medical Center in Massachusetts mistakenly removed an 84-year-old woman’s right kidney instead of her gallbladder” “Doctors admitted to leaving the 13-inch-long retractor in Church’s abdomen by mistake. ” (Childs)
Besides slip-ups that happen in the surgical ward, medical errors can be categorized under the following heads: Diagnosis mistakes: Misdiagnosis is one of the most common and most costly of medical errors. It can lead to inappropriate medical treatment and cause the appropriate treatments to be delayed or omitted (Wrongdiagnosis. com). Treatment mistakes: Wrong types of treatment given for whatever reason, either from wrong diagnosis or wrong choice of treatment plan, can lead to serious adverse events.
Prevention mistakes: This is another type of failing where preventive actions that ought to have been taken were not taken, such as failure to prevent known complications of a diagnosed disease, or failure to warn family members who are liable to contract the illness from a patient. Hospital mistakes: This is an umbrella term for hospital-caused or ‘nosocomial’ infections, medication errors such as wrong dosage or wrong combinations, and wrong procedures such as failure to do the ordered tests and so on. Medication mistakes: This includes administering inappropriate medication, drug name mix-ups, non-compliance, i.
e. , failure to follow the recommended medication regime. Medication mistakes are a major source of medical error. Pharmacist mistakes: Mistakes that happen at the pharmacy, if not caught in time and undone, could lead to significant complications. Laboratory mistakes: Wrong biopsy results, false positives, false negatives, and such laboratory errors happen not infrequently. A certain percentage of these errors are perhaps unavoidable. Equipment failure errors: The dislodging of IV drips is a common error. Besides this, a variety of malfunctions or mishandling of complex equipment can lead to serious damage.