Even with increased technology, innovative techniques and better medicine than ever before, people still suffer from medical mistakes every day. Mistakes and missteps in a medical setting can have grave physical, financial and emotional consequences for victims. Medical harm continues to be a serious concern for patients and care providers. 

According to the World Health Organization, five people die every minute due to various types of medical harm. In response to these troubling statistics, the WHO launched World Patient Safety Day. It hopes that this day will bring awareness to a troubling issue and make people aware of ways that they can protect themselves when they are seeking any type of medical care.

Unsafe care: a critical issue 

When you go to the doctor, submit to your doctor’s recommendation for surgery or visit an emergency room for care, you expect that the people who are working there know what they are doing and have your best interests in mind. You probably also assume that the facility will be clean and that you will receive the right diagnosis and treatment. Even in modern times, doctors, medical professionals and health care facilities fall short of these expectations. As a result, innocent patients may suffer.

Medical errors happen for many reasons. From receiving the wrong diagnosis to getting the wrong type of medication, every mistake can have grave consequences. Some of the most common reasons for medical mistakes and unsafe care include:

  • Wrong prescriptions
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Medication mistakes

These are things that can cause serious harm to patients as they are trying to learn what is wrong with them or simply get better. Medical mistakes are not only harmful, but they are also expensive. Estimates suggest that mistakes in medication and high-risk surgeries cost billions of dollars. 

You can protect yourself by advocating for your needs, having a loved one with you and knowing your rights. You also have the right to seek compensation and hold liable parties accountable if you suffered harm due to a medical mistake. 

In the aftermath

If you believe you are the victim of any type of medical malpractice, you do not have to walk through the aftermath alone. An evaluation of your case can help you understand what legal options may be available to you, which may include a civil claim. You may find it helpful to seek an explanation of the remedies you may pursue according to New Mexico state law.