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What Are The Most Common Medical Errors?

October 19, 2021

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Medical malpractice is much more common than people think. Medical malpractice occurs any time a doctor or other healthcare professional does not provide the proper standard of care, and a patient becomes harmed as a result. Studies have estimated that medical errors account for between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths every year in the United States. Some researchers believe the number is even greater. Clearly, medical malpractice is quite common, but what medical errors occur more often than others? Below are the most common medical errors made in Philadelphia.

Diagnosis Errors

Perhaps the most common form of medical negligence in Pennsylvania, and throughout the country, are diagnosis errors. A diagnosis error can involve a failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, and misdiagnosis. When a diagnostic error occurs, patients will not receive the proper treatment they need in a timely manner, meaning their condition will become worse. Additionally, patients may also receive treatment for a condition they are not suffering from, which could exacerbate their illness, or lead to unpleasant side effects.

Medication Errors

Medication errors can include improper dosage, incorrect drugs, labelling errors, administration mistakes, and more. Medication errors can happen in pharmacies, hospitals, and other medical facilities. Mistakes involving medication errors have the potential to be very serious and cause significant harm to patients.


Patients can develop an infection due to medical negligence in a number of ways. They may develop an infection from an airborne virus at a hospital, or a doctor may not properly monitor them after surgery or another procedure to ensure infection does not set in.

Radiology Errors

Doctors and technicians can make mistakes reading medical imaging reports. This can result in a patient receiving treatment or surgery they do not need, or patients may not receive the appropriate treatment they need, and their health may decline.

Failure to Review Patient History

Patient history is extremely important any time someone needs medical care. When doctors do not review the history of their patients, the patient could suffer injury after certain medical procedures or treatments. For example, a patient may be allergic to a certain medicinal ingredient. A doctor may not know this if they failed to review the patient’s history. If they then prescribed the patient medication that contained the allergen, it is medical negligence.

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are so traumatic, many people believe they could never happen. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Surgical errors are quite common and include operating on the wrong body part, leaving tools inside the patient, operating on the wrong patient, and failing to monitor the patient before, during, and after surgery.

Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Philadelphia Can Help with Your Case

Medical malpractice is very serious and unfortunately, all too common in Philadelphia. If you or someone you love has been hurt, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim are here to help. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help you claim the full compensation you deserve.



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