Patient Safety in Doctor’s Offices and Hospitals – How Medical Errors Place Patients in Danger

Ask most people what they worry about when visiting a hospital and they will probably tell you they are afraid of getting a shot, having blood drawn, or surgery. However, most people probably never realize the dangers involved with preventable medical errors, anesthesia mistakes, hospital acquired infections, medication errors, and many other problems related to medical malpractice.

While most people probably never think they will encounter a medical error when visiting a doctor’s office or hospital, maybe they should think twice. Statistics show nearly every patient who enters a hospital will experience a medical error at least once during their hospitalization. Although most medical errors are not serious or even noticeable, some cause serious injuries or death. Every year approximately 225,000 people in the United States die from medical malpractice, making it the third leading cause of death after heart attacks and cancer. Many additional people are injured from medical mistakes as well.

Anesthesia errors are one area most people give very little thought to. Most people meet with their doctor before surgery, but very few people every meet their anesthesiologist. Anesthesia errors can happen at any time before, during, or after a surgery. In fact anesthesia errors can even happen after a successful surgery. When the surgery is complete and the patient is recovering on the surgical floor or in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU), the surgeon generally defers to the anesthesiologist for all evaluation and management decisions. The anesthesiologist has control over the patient’s life functions, including breathing and heart rate. After surgery is complete and the patient is in PACU, he or she is not out of danger, and a simple mistake can lead to a serious and permanent brain injury or even death. Anesthesia errors are on the rise as more people are having common elective procedures such as plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery in surgical centers and doctor’s offices. This has led to an increase of doctor’s entering the field. Unfortunately there are many doctors who are not fully trained or have adequate experience in performing these delicate procedures. In addition, many doctor’s offices may have improperly trained anesthetists rather than certified anesthesiologists. If a medical emergency happens in a doctor’s office or cosmetic clinic, these facilities usually do not have access to highly trained nurses and medical staff to handle the emergency, and a patient may lose many precious minutes waiting for an ambulance to arrive to transport them to a hospital. During this time, a patient’s serious condition could escalate into a severe medical injury, including permanent brain damage or death.

Patients who have been injured due to medical negligence from a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist or medical facility, need to consult with a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer. If at all possible, an attorney with a strong medical background will be helpful. Doctors and other medical professionals know how to avoid responsibility for medical malpractice, including using complicated medical terminology to confuse patient’s and even attorneys as to their role in the medical injury. This is why it is critical for a victim of medical malpractice to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney such as Dr. Bruce Fagel. Dr. Fagel is both a leading medical malpractice attorney and a licensed medical doctor. Dr. Fagel even practiced emergency room medicine for 10 years before becoming an attorney.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact the Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates at (800) 541-9376 right away for a free consultation. There is never a fee unless we win your case.

Surgical Mistakes in Doctors Offices and Hospitals

Surgical mistakes in doctors offices and hospitals is a frightening situation nobody wants to experience.  Most people fear surgery, but add to that fear the thought that a mistake made during the operation can lead to a severe injury or even death is a terrifying prospect.  Approximately 225,000 people in the United States die each year from medical malpractice, which makes it the third leading cause of death behind heart attacks and cancer.  This alarming number does not even factor in the thousands of additional people who are injured from medical malpractice.  Many cases of medical malpractice are never reported or documented either.

When people think about serious injuries or death from surgery, they tend to think that only serious operations lead to these catastrophies.  People likely envision a scene from a tv show or a movie showing a car accident or gunshot victim or someone with a heart attack being transported to the hospital and a group of surgeons performing the life saving operation.  However, even simple elective procedures such as plastic surgery or weight loss surgery can also lead to serious injuries or death to patients.  Most people believe these elective surgeries, which have become so common are completely safe procedures; however, every surgery carries with it a risk of serious injury.

Another misconception among the general public is only new or inexperienced surgeons or doctors make surgical mistakes.  People often believe that a well-known high priced surgeon, or even one who deals mainly with famous or wealthy clients do not make surgical mistakes.  However, even the most skilled and respected surgeons make mistakes that lead to severe injuries or even death to their patients.

One area where many surgical mistakes occur is with surgical centers and doctors offices.  If a medical emergency occurs, these facilities usually do not have access to a trained staff of medical experts, such as critical care nurses and emergency surgeons, nor do they have access to the same medical equipment and resources that a hospital may have.  If a serious emergency occurs, the patient may be kept waiting many minutes for an ambulance to arrive and transport them to a hospital.  During these agonizing minutes, a serious medical condition can quickly escalate to a critical life threatening emergency with permanent brain injuries to the patient.

Surgical errors from medical malpractice frequently happens in hospitals as well.  Medical mistakes can happen from overworked medical staff, when there is a shortage of medical staff, improperly trained staff or when the medical staff fails to properly communicate with each other.  In a serious emergency, a patient in a hospital may be kept waiting if the surgeon is in the middle of another operation or not in the facility.

If you or someone you care about has been injured or died from medical malpractice including suffering serious injuries from a surgical mistake, contact the Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates at (800) 541-9376 for a free legal consultation. Dr. Bruce Fagel is an experienced medical malpractice lawyer and a licensed medical doctor.  In fact, Dr. Fagel practiced emergency room medicine for over 10 years before becoming an attorney, so he understands exactly how hospitals and medical facilities should operate, and where medical negligence took place that may have caused the injuries.