Most Common Causes of Medical Malpractice
February 28, 2017
People must trust doctors when they are at their most vulnerable, so claims that a doctor has been negligent can be particularly emotional. A medical malpractice lawyer processes serious allegations that a doctor failed to meet an industry standard of care and, by doing so, caused serious injury or even death to a patient.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Medical Malpractice?
Failures of communication are the most common causes of malpractice cases. A patient can not consent to a procedure if he or she has not been properly informed. In addition, a doctor and his or her staff must all be on the same page about a patient’s care. Doctors or other medical professionals may incorrectly write down a diagnosis or medication information, leading to harm to the patient.
Most surgeries carry some risks, both from the surgery itself and the anesthesia used. Not all unfavorable outcomes will result in a medical malpractice claim—the medical malpractice lawyer must be able to prove that the surgeon or anesthesiologist failed to meet the standard of care. Examples of this include surgery on the wrong person or part of the body, trachea damage, and surgical tools left inside the patient.
Prescription medication must be administered carefully and monitored closely. If a doctor prescribes a patient the wrong medicine (or the wrong dose of the correct medicine), that person can be seriously injured. In addition, it is the responsibility of the doctor to notify the patient of any known adverse side effects of the drug being prescribed.
Mistakes made during childbirth can have long-lasting effects on both mother and child. Certain birth injuries in a newborn can cause life-long disabilities, which will severely diminish the quality of life (and possibly shorten the life expectancy) of the child. Injuries or improper care of the mother may result in bleeding, infection, nerve damage, and even death.
Another common malpractice error is misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a disease. These cases are often related to cancer, heart disease, and meningitis (in children). Doctors may misdiagnose these conditions because the symptoms seem to point to something else. A medical malpractice lawyer may determine that a misdiagnosis led to the improper administration of medication.
What Should Someone Do if They May Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
The first thing to do if a person believes that he or she has been injured by a medical professional is to contact a medical malpractice lawyer. The attorney will review the case and offer advice on whether there is a claim and, if so, the best way to pursue it.