Patients could be harmed by a mistake made by their medical provider while they are receiving ongoing treatment for a condition, seeking a diagnosis or undergoing surgery. While some mistakes in the medical field are to be expected, errors made because of the negligence of a medical professional can be considered to be medical malpractice. Medical malpractice lawsuits often relate to a few common errors made by doctors and hospitals.
Errors in Diagnosis
Doctors who fail to diagnosis a condition until complications cause serious harm to a patient or even death of the patient could be held liable for their mistake. The determining factor in whether a patient has a case against their medical provider is whether any other competent medical professional in the same position as the doctor would have been able to diagnose the condition.
If any reasonable doctor would have made the correct diagnosis, the doctor acted negligently in failing to make the diagnosis and can be held liable for medical malpractice.
Injuries During Childbirth
Injuries to an infant that occur during childbirth or as a result of a failure to provide adequate prenatal care can result in a permanent medical condition that may severely reduce the quality of life of the infant. Some cases of negligence in relation to prenatal care and childbirth can even result in death of the child.
Negligence related to prenatal care can involve a failure to diagnosis a medical condition in the mother that has the potential to cause harm to either the mother or the fetus. Failure to diagnosis birth defects can also be considered to be medical malpractice if there was a course of action that could have been taken in relation to the defect that was not taken because of the failure to diagnosis.
During childbirth, a doctor is responsible for being prepared for any complications that could have been foreseen due to the size of the baby or the placement of the umbilical cord. If an emergency situation arises during labor and delivery, the doctor must take the appropriate steps to perform an emergency delivery to reduce the risk of harm to the mother or child.
Over one million people are negatively affected by a prescription error every year. Mistakes related to prescriptions can happen when a doctor accidentally writes down the wrong dosage amount or drug name, but it is also possible for a pharmacist to dispense the wrong dosage or drug. In a hospital setting, drugs that are being administered to a patient through an IV may cause harm to the patient if equipment malfunctions.
Dangerous Errors in Anesthesia
Anesthesia mistakes are particularly dangerous because they can cause the death of the patient. Giving too much anesthesia or failing to properly review the medical history of a patient prior to administering anesthesia are two serious mistakes that can be made by medical professionals.
There have been instances in the past in which a person went in for surgery and had the wrong body part operated on due to administrative errors. Other surgical mistakes include surgeons failing to practice care during the process and injuring the patient by puncturing organs. Patients may even experience serious infection following surgery if the medical professionals providing post-operative care are not diligent in maintaining a safe environment for recovery.
Getting Help with Malpractice
Anyone who feels that they are the victim of malpractice should contact a legal professional to discuss their options. Lawyers can help gather evidence related to negligence and harm in order to build a case against a medical professional. Contact an attorney for a free consultation to get started.