Healthcare professionals must adhere to high medical standards when attending to patients. If they breach this duty because of negligence, then those under their care can suffer tremendously. They can be legally liable for the resulting injuries, illnesses, or deaths.
The aggrieved party in these situations can file a claim for medical malpractice to obtain compensation. This is a serious offense with penalties including license revocation, massive payments, and years in prison.
It should be clear that malpractice has a strict legal definition. The accuser must prove that the case falls under this for it to succeed in court. Mere dissatisfaction with the results of a procedure is not enough to file a suit.
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can study the facts and evaluate the merits of the case. Patients may also wish to get familiar with the types of medical malpractice as the knowledge will be handy if they ever fall victim to their physician’s negligence. The main types are listed below for your reference:
1. Incorrect Diagnosis
It can all start with the wrong diagnosis. If the doctor fails to determine the real reason behind the symptoms, then he or she is likely to recommend an incorrect treatment plan. Sometimes this only results in minor irritations.
At other times, it causes serious harm to the patient. Incorrect diagnosis may lead to the consumption of a potent medicine or the performance of a risky surgery that can aggravate the situation.
Treatment delays are also lumped into this category. Plenty of diseases are time-sensitive, as they can get progressively worse quite quickly. If these aren’t diagnosed right away, then the patient might not obtain the appropriate treatment until it is too late.
2. Medication Mistakes
It is unfortunate, but medication errors happen more often than they should around hospitals. The mistakes can take on different forms. An example would be inappropriate drug administration. The patient may not have been given the right dose at the right time. It might not even be the right drug or the right patient.
This tends to happen a lot in overcrowded facilities where it is difficult to keep track of everything. Doctors should also be wary of harmful drug interactions. They need to ask about medicines currently being taken by the patient and make changes as necessary.
3. Anesthesia Errors
These are actually quite rare, but they have massive potential for harm. Some doctors specialize in this subject just to make sure that they don’t make crucial mistakes. There is very little room for error when administering anesthesia. A tiny deviation may trigger brain damage, permanent injuries, or even death.
Specialists need to exercise extreme caution in all aspects of their work, including the study of their patients’ medical records. They should also provide complete reminders regarding surgery preparation. During the procedure, they must constantly monitor the vital signs and adjust accordingly. They should double-check their equipment for defects and the dosage for volume.
4. Surgical Errors
Everyone inside the operating room must always be alert and focused on the job at hand. The surgeon will always take the lead. He must stay calm and collected no matter what happens. Every incision must be performed with the utmost precision. Even a slight jerk can lead to a leaking blood vessel or a punctured organ. Some might totally miss the mark and operate on the wrong part of the body. Others leave their tools inside the patient’s body, which can lead to bulging, pain, and infection. Nurses might also be liable if they are negligent while caring for the patient after the operation.
5. Childbirth Negligence
The birth of a child should be a cause for celebration. However, problems during the process or even earlier on during the pregnancy can spoil plans. Both the mother and the baby are vulnerable. They must be given adequate attention by the medical staff to make sure that they are comfortable and that they don’t get injured. There have been cases of bone fractures, cerebral palsy, and full paralysis.
Doctors must stay on top of the situation to prevent these and other complications. Any treatment plan for sick mothers must consider the wellbeing of the unborn child. This could mean lowering the dosage or opting for a different drug altogether.
Hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to preventable harm inside hospitals. Many more become afflicted with healthcare-associated infections. If you or your loved one has experience any of these, then consult with a lawyer to prepare your case and get proper compensation.