High-level medical professionals undergo rigorous training and years of education, so most people assume they’re in safe and trustworthy hands in life and death situations. But that’s not always the case. Medical malpractice is more than just a crime show trope. This type of doctor or hospital negligence occurs when the medical staff willingly or by the omission of specific care causes injury to a patient. Medical negligence is the third cause of death in the U.S. But proving you have an actual claim is harder than it may seem. A viable claim must be characterized as a violation of standard care, prove that an injury occurred from medical negligence, and prove that the injury in question caused the patient significant damages or distress. A competent medical malpractice attorney can help ensure justice is served if the claim is valid. But what are the most common medical malpractice errors?
Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis
Many diseases and conditions have similar and overlapping symptoms. So diagnosing a specific illness can take some time and serious effort. It can also take several attempts to reach the correct conclusion. But it’s not malpractice unless the doctor fails to diagnose a dangerous disease in time to treat it or misdiagnosis and mistreats the disease or condition to the point where the treatment or lack thereof causes or fails to prevent severe harm or even death to the patient. If another competent doctor in similar circumstances wouldn’t have made the same mistake, chances are it’s a case of malpractice.
Childbirth Malpractice and Birth Injuries
Birth defects and birth injuries are often confused, especially for attempted legal claims. But they differ. While birth defects usually have a genetic connection or cause and are formed during gestation, birth injuries almost always occur during or after birth. A birth injury can range in severity from something moderate that will heal over a few weeks to a severe injury which may result in long-term or even lifelong challenges. These can include bruises, broken bones, organ damage, or even cerebral palsy or other brain injuries. In most cases, the injuries are completely accidental, but in some cases, medical negligence and malpractice can be the cause.
According to national case studies, approximately 1.5 million people suffer annually from medication errors. Most of these occur in patients over the age of 60, but any age can be affected. Medication malpractice errors can occur when the patient is given the wrong medication. It can also occur when the doctor or pharmacist fails to adjust prescription for combined interactions. But dosage issues are the most common reason for medication mistakes. Whether the nurse, doctor, or pharmacist are at fault for providing the wrong dosage for a patient, it can cause serious problems that may lead to a viable malpractice claim.
Simple surgical errors are more common than patients may think. A sponge may be left inside the patient’s body or a nerve may be clipped by accident. In most cases, those are easily corrected or treated. However, sometimes the problem is far more serious. A doctor or medical team may be sued for being unable to control or stop bleeding, operating on the wrong body part, or even in some cases operating on the wrong person. Those who suffer due to such medical negligence should speak with a competent medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.