Medical malpractice is the cause of numerous injuries and fatalities in the United States and around the world. It is defined as actions performed while providing healthcare services that do not meet acceptable standards of care.
The good news is that many healthcare facilities are using technology to prevent incidents, but people still need to know what causes them in the first place.
Diagnostic errors happen when a doctor or other healthcare professional delays, misses, or provides an incorrect diagnosis. It often results in the healthcare professional not providing the patient with information about their diagnosis and possible treatments accurately and promptly.
Missing a diagnosis is often attributed to a doctor who is not trained enough or does not take the time to listen to and understand their patient.
They might also not ask the right questions and thus end up with the wrong conclusion. Sometimes patients provide false or incomplete information about what is happening, leading doctors down the wrong path.
Some ways to prevent these types of errors are by asking as many questions as possible and exploring further when talking to patients, keeping organized notes, and communicating clearly so patients can do the same.
Even with these strategies in place, costly diagnostic errors could still occur.
Surgery comes with inherent risks that doctors do their best to reduce as much as possible. Surgical errors occur when a healthcare professional makes a preventable mistake that increases risk beyond what is acceptable for that kind of surgery.
These errors are devastating because they cause serious and long-lasting injuries or fatalities if the errors are significant enough.
A study in the United States found that there are about 4,000 surgical errors each year in the United States, with wrong-site procedures being the most common cause. These are surgical errors where the surgeon operates on the wrong body part.
Retained surgical bodies, which are objects left inside the body after surgery, also account for a significant number of surgical errors.
Regardless of the cause or type of error, you should file a medical malpractice lawsuit to get compensated for the damage done.
Get in touch with attorneys who specialize in holding doctors and hospitals accountable and who will stand up to insurance providers to ensure you get compensated for errors and malpractice.
Failure to Treat
These types of cases are very different from those related to a diagnosis. In failure to treat issues, the doctor makes the diagnosis but does not prescribe any course of action, whether medication or surgery.
When this happens, the patient’s condition worsens, leading to serious complications and even death in some instances.
Failure to treat can happen when patients are released too quickly without proper checks to ensure they get the treatment they deserve.
It can also occur if such patients are not followed up on and where facilities do not provide the required care because the patient cannot pay or has no insurance.
Birth injury is an injury to a baby due to pressure during birth. It is important to understand that birth defects are not considered birth injuries and that birth injuries result from someone’s actions.
A common cause of these injuries is a lack of training and miscommunication during birth.
In addition to injuries to the baby, these injuries can also affect the mother. About 50,000 mothers are injured every year during both, but their injuries are often overlooked.
These injuries can also be grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, especially if they are caused by negligence.
Prescription Drug Errors
These errors result from how medication is prescribed and used by the patient. Apart from the damage they cause, the main issue with these errors is the failure to report.
Around 100,000 people in the United States do not report these cases when they occur.
Some errors that can lead to patient harm and malpractice lawsuits include:
- Incorrect dosages
- Wrong medication
- Failure to prescribe
- Inadequate or incorrect instructions
- Pharmacy errors
- Unclear packaging
A common cause of these errors is distraction. Physicians and pharmacists sometimes deal with multiple patients while also managing numerous duties.
Multitasking like this is bad, not only for the patients who rely on their healthcare professionals, but for the professionals’ mental health too.
Failure to Acquire Consent
Doctors and other healthcare professionals must explain to their patients what different treatments are, what they do, and their associated risks.
Once they have explained everything, they should get a patient, their family, or someone with the power to do so to sign that it is OK for the procedure to continue.
If a healthcare professional goes ahead without consent, they are committing medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice entails actions that harm a patient. There are different causes for it, but the results are injuries that could be life-changing and fatalities.
Working with a lawyer is the best way to hold hospitals and healthcare professionals accountable if this happens to you.