Houston Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Helping Victims of Medical Malpractice Get Justice
Every day, millions of Americans put their trust in doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. We trust that those working in the healthcare industry will treat us with respect, dignity, and quality care. Unfortunately, healthcare professionals do make mistakes. Patients may be improperly diagnosed, treatment may be delayed, or errors may be made during surgery.
If you are concerned about medical errors and want to learn more about your legal rights, contact the Houston medical malpractice attorneys at Brown, Christie & Green. We have successfully litigated numerous medical malpractice cases, and we can help you.
Medical mistakes have been called the third leading cause of death in the United States.
While some medical events cannot be anticipated or prevented, medical mistakes most often result from poor judgment or bad decision making. Medical mistakes are now listed as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., falling behind heart disease and cancer. Estimates suggest that between 250,000 and 440,000 people die every year as a result of preventable medical errors.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a medical mistake, surgical error, or other healthcare negligence, it is important to contact a medical malpractice attorney right away. You may be entitled to compensation, but you will have to prove that your injuries were caused by negligence.
That is why you need the skill and experience of the Houston medical malpractice attorneys at Brown, Christie & Green on your side. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of medical malpractice protect their rights and get the justice they deserve.
- Failing to diagnose a condition
- Misdiagnosing a condition
- Improperly reading laboratory results
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient
- Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body
- Failing to appropriately review medical history
- Discharging a patient too soon
- Prescribing the wrong medication/dosage
When medical mistakes occur, patients need to know their legal rights.
Surgical Errors are More Common Than You Might Think
When it comes to our health and well being, most of us place our confidence in the hands of medical professionals. After all, medical professionals undergo numerous years of training and education to prepare for a career in the medical field. It is our belief – and hope – that the professionals we are entrusting our lives with are capable, knowledgeable, and competent. However, this does not mean that they are perfect, and they are known to make mistakes in the operating room.
According to a recent article published by the Business Insider, 1 out of every 100,000 surgeries involves a wrong site surgical error made by a physician. This means that they operate on the wrong side of the patient’s body, on the wrong body part, or sometimes even perform surgery on the wrong patient.
The review also found that retained object cases are relatively common. It is estimated that one out of every 10,000 procedures results in a physician leaving an item or tool in the patient’s body. The retained object may include a medical sponge, knife, or other medical tools.
What are surgical errors?
A wrong site surgery and retained object left in a patient are both considered “never events.” This means that under no event or circumstance should this error have occurred. With the proper preventative measures and protocol, never events can be avoided.
Why do Medical Errors Occur?
Researchers recently stated in the Journal JAMA Surgery that the root cause of most surgical errors or medical mistakes is poor communication among medical staff. Whether the poor communication involves miscommunication, missing information that should be provided to surgical room staff, or possibly even medical team members failing to speak up or failing to listen to and mention suspicions, poor communication is the primary cause of most operating room surgical errors.
How to prevent surgical errors in the operating room
A nationwide concerted effort to improve surgical room safety was implemented in 2004. Pursuant to The Universal Protocol, hospitals that are accredited by the Joint Commission must abide by the following protocol in order to reduce the risk of surgical errors from occurring in the operating room:
- Preoperative verification of the patient
- Clear identification and marking of the surgical site
- Performing a brief break or time-out prior to beginning the surgery
Performing equipment checks prior to surgeries, using briefing tools, and conducting staff training have also been found to reduce surgical errors in the operation room.