5 of the Most Common Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice occurs with surprising frequency throughout the United States. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 patients die each year in the U.S. due to medical errors and negligence. This means that around 16,000 Americans or more die each month because of a medical mistake.
When you are under the care of a doctor, nurse, or other medical provider, there are many ways in which you can be hurt. Nonetheless, patients tend to be hurt by medical providers in predictable ways, and many of them are preventable.
How Medical Malpractice Occurs Most Often
These are five of the most common manners in which doctors, nurses, and medical staff cause unintentional injuries to their patients;
Misdiagnosis of Injury or Illness
A diagnosis is when the doctor or medical provider reviews tests or other available evidence and determines what is causing a patient’s test results or noted symptoms. With a misdiagnosis, the conclusion of the medical provider is wrong. They ascribe what you are feeling and how you are presenting to the wrong ailment or injury.
Some medical providers become so insistent that a misdiagnosis is correct that they refuse to revisit their initial conclusion, even in the face of mounting evidence showing they are wrong.
A misdiagnosis harms you in two distinct ways. First, it takes precious time away from treating the true underlying cause of your symptoms. Time spent treating an incorrect illness or injury is time wasted. In some cases, such as certain cancers and infections, your condition can decline severely while you wait to receive the correct course of treatment.
Misdiagnosis also subjects you to unnecessary treatment, some of which can be painful or cause unwanted side effects. Thus, receiving treatment for a condition you do not have can cause you further harm.
Errors in the Operating Room
If you undergo any surgical procedure, you are placing your faith and trust in your surgeon and their team to perform the procedure with due care and skill. Most surgeons take this responsibility seriously, but even this does not stop errors from occurring in the operating room.
Common surgical errors include leaving foreign objects, like gauze or surgical tools, inside the open wound and operating on the incorrect body part or organ. These avoidable errors can cause unnecessary pain and require remedial procedures.
Doctors who do not pay close attention to a mother’s and her child’s vital signs during labor and delivery can cause unnecessary injury to either the mother, the child, or both.
Medical providers should monitor certain signs that indicate the baby is not receiving enough oxygen; when these signs go ignored, the child can suffer permanent brain damage. Similarly, a doctor who delays performing an emergency C-section when needed risks the mother’s and child’s lives unnecessarily.
Birth injuries have the potential to change the lives of every member of a family, as some injuries result in the child experiencing lifelong disabilities and limitations.
Prescription Drug Mistakes
Prescription drugs are essential to modern medical treatment, but mistakes are not uncommon. A doctor might prescribe an inappropriate medication to a patient with a known drug allergy, or they might prescribe a drug that has dangerous effects when taken with another medication.
Another way that prescription drug errors occur is when the pharmacist or other healthcare provider gives the patient the wrong medicine or wrong dosage. Sometimes, these prescription errors leave the patient no worse off than before. But in the worst cases, the patient can suffer permanent harm or even die due to the mistake.
Anesthesia is an essential part of any major surgical procedure. A patient in a relaxed or unconscious state due to proper anesthesia will experience minimal distress. It also immobilizes the patient so that the medical team can perform the procedure more easily.
Giving appropriate anesthesia to a patient is an exact science with little room for error. A trained anesthesiologist must monitor the patient’s vitals the entire time the patient is under anesthesia and immediately address any concerning signs. Mistakes during anesthesia can easily result in permanent injuries or even death.
West Law LLC Can Help Medical Malpractice Victims