Thirty-four percent of all physicians have been the defendant in a medical liability lawsuit. The longer a doctor is in practice, the greater their chance of having a claim filed against them. Fifty percent of doctors over the age of 55 have been sued, compared with only 8% of those under age 40.
Do you know what malpractice is and what justifies a lawsuit? Medical errors include everything from a medication error to leaving a clamp in a body during surgery.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a medical professional does not do what is normally accepted in the medical community. Because of the professional’s deviation, the patient suffers injuries or death.
Medical Errors That May Qualify as Malpractice
Malpractice can occur in any area of the medical field. Nursing homes, emergency rooms, surgeons, dentists, ophthalmologists, and more are subject to claims.
Medication errors in nursing happen if the nurse gives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage to a patient. This can happen in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, or in-home nursing care.
It is also possible for a physician to prescribe the wrong medication or dosage. This may happen if the prescribing doctor fails to consider medications the patient is already taking that may create a reaction.
They may prescribe an antibiotic that contains an ingredient the patient is allergic to. They may also describe a proper medicine in the wrong dosage.
Delayed or Incorrect Diagnosis
This happens when a physician diagnoses the patient with the wrong medical condition. This can result in treatment that is unnecessary, dangerous or makes the patient’s condition worse. Not only can this prolong the patient’s illness, but a delayed diagnosis may result in the patient’s death.
Not every incorrect diagnosis justifies a malpractice lawsuit. To prove malpractice you need to show that any other competent doctor would have made a correct diagnosis.
Surgical errors happen when a patient suffers an injury due to a medical error in the operating room.
Mistakes include operating on the wrong patient or performing the wrong procedure. Sometimes surgical staff leaves a medical tool inside the patient. Post-operative medication errors fall within this category.
Anesthesia requires heavy monitoring to ensure safety. Errors include failing to provide pre-operative instructions on food or medication consumption.
Many errors happen during the procedure. This includes failing to monitor vital signs while the patient is under anesthesia. There may be complications with the breathing tube during the procedure.
Deaths due to medical errors is from anesthesia being improperly administered do occur.
When a laboring mother or the unborn child suffers injury as a result of a medical provider’s negligence, a malpractice lawsuit may be justified. Medical advancements provide the OB with a plethora of information they may use to anticipate many labor complications.
Negligent acts include not anticipating the size of the newborn’s head or body. They may not properly respond to fetal distress or not realize the umbilical cord is around the newborn’s body. Failing to perform an emergency C-section is a medical error.
When errors happen, the infant may suffer long-term or life-altering permanent injury. This includes soft-tissue damage, broken bones infection, cerebral palsy, persistent pulmonary hypertension, paralysis, and more.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
When medical errors occur, the best course of action is for the patient to speak with malpractice lawyers. An experienced attorney will know the law regarding this specialized area and be able to evaluate your case. This type of lawsuit is handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay attorney fees unless you win your case.
Always Be Aware
Based on the above medication error examples you know it is important to always be aware of the medical care you receive. Medical professionals are human, and despite the best training medical errors do occur. If you found this information helpful, we invite you to check our other blogs. We have a wide range of topics available and you are sure to find something of interest.