Some medical or hospital errors in Pennsylvania are minor. However, the ones that make the news and create nightmarish experiences for people are far more serious. These include bad reactions to prescribed medication, operating on the wrong limb, a wrong diagnosis or even sewing up a tool inside a patient’s body after surgery.

According to WebMD, medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, researchers estimate that anywhere from 250,000 to 400,000 people die every year from medical errors. This no doubt seems ironic to Americans who trust in doctors to prolong their health and save lives. Here are the most common mistakes occurring in health care in America.

1. Patient falls

Roughly one million Americans who are hospitalized fall every year. Researchers estimate that a third of these incidents are preventable. Patients can play a roll by letting hospital staff know if there are any underlying reasons that may make falls more likely. These may include dizziness, a preexisting injury or fainting spells.

2. Misusing antibiotics

Researchers estimate that up to 50% of the time that patients receive antibiotics prescriptions, they do not need it. Patients can step in here too by talking with their doctors about whether or not they need the antibiotics and if there are suitable alternatives. If the doctor insists, be sure to take them as directed.

3. Drug errors

When it comes to bad drug reactions, many people think of allergic reactions or two or more drugs reacting negatively with each other. However, sometimes the problem is much simpler. Patients may receive a larger dose than they should. Because harmful interactions also pose a risk, WebMD recommends that patients keep a list of the medications they take and the dose nearby, including even supplements.

This article provides information on medical errors. It should not be misconstrued as or used in place of legal or medical advice.