Most Common Medical Malpractice Mistakes – LIFESTYLE BY PS icon

Most Common Medical Malpractice Mistakes

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional doesn’t provide competent care. Medical malpractice can lead to severe injury or even death. There are some common mistakes that happen that give patients grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. If you are the victim of these common medical malpractice mistakes, then you may have a legal case and Wapner Newman is here to help you. 


The wrong diagnosis is a common medical error. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to harmful or unnecessary treatment. The wrong diagnosis can mean that a patient doesn’t get treated for the illness he or she actually has, and it prolongs suffering. This error can be common because of so many similar symptoms that present. Less common symptoms can be hard to diagnose properly. 

Delayed Diagnosis

A delayed diagnosis can be just as harmful as the wrong diagnosis. This also prevents a patient from getting the right treatment in a timely manner. 

Errors with Medication

A common mistake that happens during the course of medical treatment is a medication error. These mistakes can include failing to account for drug interactions or prescribing the wrong dose.

A doctor may make a mistake when writing the prescription, hospital staff may incorrectly give medication to a patient, or a pharmacist may fill the medication incorrectly.

Prescribers need to be careful about a patient’s medical history and pay special attention to allergies before administering any medication. It’s important to note any potential drug combinations that can be harmful. If a professional fail to do this, or if information is left off the chart, then consequences can be serious and deadly.

Surgical Errors

Mistakes can happen during and after surgery and have consequences to the patient, including other medical complications and death. Medical malpractice claims from surgical errors usually come from poor planning before the operation happened.

Surgeons’ actions can also be the cause of surgical errors, such as operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other surgical errors can include making an incorrect incision, operating on the wrong patient, operating on the wrong part of the body, doing the wrong operation, or leaving objects inside a patient.

Surgical errors can also happen after the procedure is over, including neglecting to follow the right postoperative procedures, not giving patients the right instructions for recovery, or prescribing incorrect medications or dosages. 

Anesthesia Errors

Errors caused by anesthesia can mean permanent injury or death. Some common mistakes that happen during anesthesia include failing to look at the patient’s medical history to find any possible complications, giving too much anesthesia, incorrectly placing the breathing tube, not monitoring a patient’s vital signs while under the anesthesia, using defective medical equipment, or not telling the patient important instructions before the operation, such as not drinking or eating beforehand.


Infection is an unfortunate risk of any medical procedure or hospital stay. Many infections that develop in the hospital aren’t that serious and can be easily treated. However, there are some infections that can turn serious and be deadly. 

Mistakes during Childbirth and Prenatal Care

Mistakes during childbirth may affect both the infant and the mother and can happen during labor, delivery, after the baby is born, or during pregnancy. While the mother is pregnant, negligent care can harm both child and mother. Mistakes can include failure to diagnose or misdiagnosing any pregnancy-related conditions, failure to diagnose birth defects, or missing a contagious disease a mother could pass on to her child.

Injuries that happen during labor and delivery can include not doing a cesarean, when necessary, not responding to fetal distress, not using forceps correctly, or not noticing the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby. Birth injuries that happen from medical malpractice can include bone fractures, paralysis, brain injuries, or cerebral palsy. 

Bad Medical Devices

A medical mistake might not be a mistake but instead the result of using an unsafe medical device. Your healthcare provider may do everything correctly but won’t be able to protect you from a defective or malfunctioning device. In these types of cases, it’s not the doctor to blame but instead the manufacturer of the defective device.

Some devices, such as IVC blood clot filters, hip implants, hernia mesh, surgical warming blankets, and countless others have failed and caused serious harm. Not only do medical devices need to be functional and safe but the position is also important to alleviate the medical concern. Improper placement of medical devices can lead them to not function properly, creating the potential for life-threatening malfunction or cutting off blood supply to other areas of the body. 

Causes of Medical Mistakes

There are different reasons why medical mistakes happen. 

Fatigue: Doctors tend to work long shifts and don’t get a lot of rest. When fatigue happens, it can be harder to concentrate and think and this leads to mistakes. 

User Errors: With the shift to technology, medical errors can happen if a professional isn’t familiar with the system or doesn’t double check information that was input. A typo or slight mis click could lead to a mistake. 

Inexperience: Doctors do have to start somewhere but it’s possible for a new doctor to have a patient with symptoms outside his or her experience and not use the right diagnostic tools. This leads to preventable errors. 

Human Error: The medical standards of care were created in order to ensure that providers perform to this standard but when those regulations and guidelines aren’t met, it leads to mistakes that cause sickness, suffering, and death.