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Different types of medical mistakes

Going to the doctor or another medical provider should be a beneficial experience. Too often, however, it ends up causing more harm than good. Statistics reflect this: Medical errors have become third in line for causes of fatalities in the U.S., reports NPR.

It is hard to imagine how this can happen. Some of it comes with the territory, but most, such as the following types, are preventable.

Medical malpractice

Despite years of education and experience, health providers are liable to make major mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes are due to miscommunication between staff members or poor recordkeeping. Other times, it is the result of negligence: failing to get proper rest before a surgery, not listening to patients' concerns to reach the right diagnosis, and forgetting to double-check patient identity and medical notes.

No matter the situation, the key to a malpractice suit is showing the provider did not meet the most current standards of care and that the same result would not have happened with a more thorough and attentive medical professional.

Harmful drugs 

Medication is just as subject to medical error. Although pharmaceutical drugs require extensive research and testing before gaining approval from the FDA, harmful ones can still hit the market. It may be from greedy companies skipping steps or lying about side effects, or it may be from harmful symptoms not showing up until after years of use. Furthermore, providers may prescribe the wrong drugs or dosage.

Defective medical devices

Medical devices are supposed to help in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment or cure of diseases. They can be external, such as powered wheelchairs, or internal, such as hip replacements. The FDA classifies these products according to their purpose, complexity and safety.

Unfortunately, many prove to be dangerous. They can cause internal damage, give inaccurate results or lead to diseases. Every year, the FDA lists all the recent recalls for defective devices

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