common medical errors

From Misdiagnosis to Missed Symptoms: 3 Deadly Common Medical Errors

Mistakes happen, but when they occur in the hospital, they can be fatal. From misdiagnosis to medication errors to simply ignoring a patient’s complaints, common medical errors can cause pain and suffering for patients, and often lead to death. According to a 2016 John Hopkins study, medical errors account for more than 250,000 deaths per year.  

At Michell, Hoffman & Wolf, our skilled lawyers represent victims and their families of medical malpractice and work hard to get our clients the compensation they deserve. As experienced attorneys who have helped many victims of medical negligence and malpractice over the last three decades, we’ve seen deadly medical errors up close. 

Read on to learn about three deadly common medical errors and what to do if you or a loved one falls victim to one of these dangerous mistakes. 


Diagnostic errors are the most common medical error and the most likely to result in death. A Johns Hopkins study shows that a misdiagnosis causes disability or death nearly twice as often as other medical errors. When a patient’s condition is misdiagnosed, they fail to get the treatment they need and may even be treated for conditions they don’t have, which can be fatal. 

Emergency room misdiagnoses are common and critical. Hundreds of thousands of patients suffer unnecessary harm each year due to diagnostic errors in hospital emergency rooms. Emergency room patients often require swift treatment, and when commonly misdiagnosed emergencies like heart attacks and strokes go unrecognized, the patient can suffer organ damage and death.

Failure to Treat

A doctor can fail to properly treat patients in a variety of ways, from sending a patient home early or with no instructions for follow-up care to neglecting to consider a patient’s medical history when prescribing medicine. These mistakes can lead to further injury, illness, and death.

Cost-cutting measures in search of higher profits by large healthcare systems often contribute to deadly results. When doctors must care for more patients than they can safely handle, nurses and nurse practitioners must take on a higher burden of patients too, without the supervision or aid of a doctor. This increases the risk of missed symptoms and death. 

Dive Deeper: Learn more about how improper doctor supervision led to a deadly result and how our attorneys helped a family find justice. 

Surgical Errors 

Often routine and treatable postoperative complications are ignored or missed by doctors and nurses. Failing to recognize and address surgical errors can lead to serious injury and death. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a surgical error, skilled attorneys can fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Fighting for You: When a mother died due to complications after an abdominal surgery that went unaddressed, we successfully secured her three daughters a settlement of over $1.5 million in a wrongful death and medical malpractice case. 

What to do When You’re the Victim of a Common Medical Error

Evaluate what happened and record as many details as possible. This will help ensure you’re not forgetting any important details such as conversations with doctors, nurses and hospital staff. Your attorney can help inform you of what details and information may be necessary to develop your case.

Medical malpractice cases require the use of expert testimony to establish the applicable standards and to prove damages. It’s important you find and hire a lawyer with experience handling complex medical malpractice cases. A strong attorney will present a powerful case to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Mitchell, Hoffman & Wolf is Here to Help

The skilled attorneys at Mitchell, Hoffman & Wolf have over three decades of experience in successfully representing victims of medical malpractice. We commit our full efforts to our clients and when you partner with us, you can always trust that a named partner will be dedicated to your case. We offer guidance and support at every stage of the legal process so you don’t have to face litigation alone. 

We know how important it is to secure the funds you need to recover, and we work hard to get you the settlement you deserve. Explore our previous settlement wins to see the victories we’ve fought for so our clients get the money they deserve. No matter the unique details of your case, we have the skills and dedication to fight for you. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a common medical error, we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case assessment today to get started.