How Medical Professionals Conceal Errors and Mistakes

By Hanna Smith - 17 Jul '19 11:33AM
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Did a medical professional conceal mistakes or errors that occurred in your treatment or diagnosis?

A survey from 2014 found that 7% of physicians believe it's acceptable to conceal errors. The survey found that 78% of physicians believe the concealment of mistakes or errors is unacceptable. With 22% of physicians believing that it's acceptable to conceal errors, it's important for patients to know how these mistakes and errors are concealed.

This means that 22 out of 100 physicians, roughly 25%, feel that it may be acceptable to conceal errors and mistakes.

Mistakes and errors are not told to patients, and they occur because:

  • Poor communication. A lack of communication leads to health professionals missing a patient's underlying health issues, and this can lead to improper patient data recording. The lack of communication can occur between all medical professionals, and this may lead to delayed treatment or misdiagnosis.
  • Medication errors. The number of medication errors annually was 1.5 million for Americans in 2006. These errors include prescribing the wrong medication or prescribing the wrong dosage amount to the patient.
  • Improper treatment. Errors can be made during surgery, or failure to treat an underlying condition can make a condition more severe. Failure to follow treatment guidelines can also occur.

Doctors and medical professionals simply do not admit these errors to their patients. And without a wealth of knowledge in the medical field, patients often don't realize that an error has occurred.

It's important for patients to question the actions of their doctors and do their own research into their conditions.

A malpractice verdict in Baltimore has led to a $229 million verdict involving a four-year-old who is unlikely to say more than a few words, probably won't walk again and has to rely on a feeding tube for nourishment.

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center made key errors when the child was being born that led to significant brain damage. She will need round-the-clock medical attention for the rest of her life, and the family hopes that the verdict will be able to fund her expenses.

Lawyers claim that the girl is unlikely to receive all of the settlement money. The settlement will be appealed and likely lowered.

Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Safer methods of care and advancements in technology may be able to reduce these deaths, helping offer better treatment options to patients. Statistically, 68% of malpractice claims are dropped or dismissed.

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