Common Medical Mistakes During Memorial Day Due to Staffing Issues: Medication Errors, Undiagnosed Fractures or Tendon Injuries, and Misdiagnosed Conditions

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

Memorial Day is about honoring the sacrifices made by those serving in the armed forces.  Whether that be sacrificing time and energy away from their family by serving in the military, or by paying the ultimate sacrifice, Memorial Day is a day of reverence for all to remember those who have made sacrifices for our freedom.

 

Unfortunately, too many people believe this means vacations and time away from work.  This includes healthcare providers who regularly take vacation during this break.  This is usually done by seniority, so the most experienced healthcare providers are away during the holiday weekend.  But emergencies still happen, and people can still be seriously injured and in need of competent, medical care.  However, with a weekend skeleton crew and seniority pulling weight for vacations, this does not always happen.

 

Thus, there are several common mistakes which occur during holidays like Memorial Day at hospitals which are medical malpractice.  These include the following:

 

1) Medication errors - the most common type of medical malpractice committed by an inexperienced healthcare professional is a medication error.  In fact, studies show that when residents come in every July, there is a spike int eh amount of medical malpractice and medication errors.  This is because medication errors can result in very serious personal injuries.  Think about it—medications are controlled substances which are meant to induce a certain reaction in your body.  If the wrong medication is given or too much of the medication is given, it can cause a very serious reaction and injury.

 

2) Failing to diagnose fractures or tendon injuries - Memorial Day is also a day of being outside and active.  This can result in traumatic injuries such as broken bones.  If a less-experienced staff member fails to see the fracture on the image, it can result in worsening the injury and making the break much worse than it was.  It can also result in damage to nearby structures.  Memorial Day is also about the food and BBQing.  One new and common injury is known as an avocado injury.  This is a REAL injury, and doctors are recognizing it.  This is where a person is cutting an avocado and cuts his or her hand.  The injuries are usually deep, and result in tendon injuries.  If a hospital staff fails to identify a tendon injury, it can result in permanent damage if not treated within a tight window of time, sometimes as short as 5 days.

 

3) Misdiagnose - sometimes certain conditions can be misdiagnosed when inexperienced healthcare professionals are trying to treat a patient in the emergency room.  Common conditions are strokes, heart attacks, and appendicitis.  The delay in treatment or the misdiagnosis can result in serious personal injuries if not treated fast enough.  It can result in a treatable condition into a deadly one.

 

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.

 
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