What Medical Errors Occur Most Often in Virginia?

Medical malpractice takes place when a healthcare provider, such as a physician, medic, or hospital, causes injury to a patient by failing to provide the standard of care expected of those in the medical profession. Medical malpractice cases can be extremely complicated because they deal with issues like misdiagnosis, negligence, prescription errors, surgical errors, and more.

How often do medical errors occur?

If you suspect your injuries were due to medical negligence, speak to an experienced Virginia medical malpractice lawyer at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We can review the details of your case and help you obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to under the law. 

Common Medical Errors

A recent study highlighted the fact that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States after cancer and heart disease, ending the lives of roughly 440,000 people every year. Although several hundred thousand medical errors occur every year in hospitals and other medical facilities, the preventable medical mistakes that occur most frequently in Virginia are: 


Failing to correctly diagnose an illness is, unfortunately, a very common medical error. Misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare professional either identifies a medical illness or condition incorrectly or fails to identify it at all. 

Misdiagnosis can result in a patient receiving delayed treatment, improper treatment, or no treatment for their actual illness or condition. The conditions with the highest rates of misdiagnosis are cancer and heart attacks. Failing to properly diagnose a life-threatening condition can have disastrous consequences. 

Surgical Errors

A surgical error is a preventable mistake made by a medical professional during surgery that results in injury to the patient. Surgical errors can happen at any time during surgery, from pre-surgery planning to post-surgery care.

Whether a member of the surgical team left a tool inside the patient, operated on the wrong site or side, or performed surgery on the wrong patient, surgical mistakes often have serious repercussions for patients.

Failure to Treat

A failure-to-treat error takes place when a physician accurately diagnoses a patient’s illness or condition but then fails to meet the accepted standard of care when treating it. This mistake can happen in many different ways and can occur due to misdiagnosis, negligence, inadequate medical care, or a delay in diagnosis. Failure-to-treat errors have harrowing impacts on patients and often result in further health issues, the worsening of their illness or condition, and even death.  

Insufficient follow-up care and discharging a patient too quickly are the two most common failure-to-treat errors. 

Birth Injuries

A birth injury is a physical injury sustained by a newborn during childbirth or shortly thereafter. The term “birth injury” covers a wide range of conditions that can be caused by a variety of factors, including a lack of medical intervention during labor or delivery, the infant’s position during birth, and other medical complications. Birth injuries often have long-term or permanent consequences for the child.

A considerable percentage of medical malpractice claims involve medical errors made by OBGYNs during childbirth. Conditions involving nerve damage, such as shoulder dystocia, damage to the spinal cord, cephalohematoma, and cerebral palsy are all common birth injuries that are most likely the result of a medical error.  

We Represent Victims of Medical Errors

Medical errors occur more often than most people realize. If you were injured due to a medical error, you need to contact an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. At the personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we routinely work with victims of medical negligence and are committed to ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve. Call (833) 997-1774 to schedule your free consultation. 

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