Preventable Hospital Mistakes That Result in Death | Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.
Preventable Hospital Mistakes

Preventable Hospital Mistakes That Result in Death

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.
Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

According to recent studies, hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, following heart disease and cancer. Each year over 250,000 people die from preventable hospital mistakes. However, despite these alarming statistics, the safety scores of hospitals have failed to show any drastic improvement (1).

Two Fatal Hospital Mistakes that are Entirely Preventable

When this many Americans die from visiting a place that is supposed to diagnose and cure illnesses, then something is clearly flawed, whether with hospital protocol or maintenance. Let’s take a look at the major preventable hospital mistakes that could lead to serious injury or worse, and ultimately a case of medical malpractice.

1. Incorrect Medication or Dosage

One of the things that happens far too often is that the wrong medication or dosage is prescribed to a patient (2). This can be caused by something as simple as a doctor being too distracted to ask about allergies and other current medication or a pharmacist misreading the prescription. Patients can take matters into their own hands by knowing their medications and dosages in order to catch what could be a fatal mistake.

2. Unnecessary Blood Transfusions

Unnecessary blood transfusions are another leading cause of death in hospitals. Studies show that almost 60% of global blood transfusions are inappropriately administered, resulting in a higher likelihood of infection as the patient is exposed to more blood cells (2). Once again, this medical mistake can be prevented by patients and family members speaking up to question their doctor about the necessity of a blood transfusion.

Preventable Hospital Mistakes in Summary

Although patient awareness is an important part of medicine, it should not fall solely on them to protect their health while visiting a hospital. Both doctors and the hospital as a whole need to be held to a higher standard of care in order to combat the growing number of deaths attributed to preventable hospital mistakes.


Patient care and safety should always be the number one concern, a philosophy that would also work to diminish the number of medical malpractice cases filed each year. If you or a loved one has experienced this, please call us at 570-681-2203 or contact us online.