Winckler & Harvey, L.L.P.
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Common medical mistakes that can cause patients harm

When Texas residents are sick, they expect their healthcare professionals to help them with their ailments. However, they may be surprised to learn that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. This is because there are many different mistakes that doctors can make when treating their patients.

One error that can cause death is removing a breathing tube too fast after a patient has surgery. For example, one doctor said that a patient almost died after having his breathing tube removed due to swelling in the throat. This swelling caused the patient to be unable to breathe. As a result, the tube had to be reinserted. If it had not been, the patient could have potentially suffered brain damage. On the other hand, leaving tubes, such as a urinary catheter, in a patient could cause a serious infection which could result in greater harm.

A common but extremely deadly error is a wrong dose of medication. Different patients need different doses in order to effectively treat the ailment. If patients are accidentally given the wrong dosage, the error could be fatal. For example, a child was given a medication with a saline-solution base as part of the child's chemotherapy. It was accidentally mixed 20 times stronger than ordered. The mistake was not caught and the child died as a result of brain swelling.

When a doctor makes a mistake that causes unnecessary harm to a patient, there might be legal recourse. An attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation can review the circumstances surrounding the medical error to see if it constituted a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care. The attorney will also confer with medical experts when conducting the review.

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