Complications and bad outcomes are always a possibility in medical treatment. When doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals fail to adhere to an established standard of care and that leads to injury, illness or death, it is a case of medical malpractice. Malpractice can take place at almost any stage of medical treatment — from the examination room to the delivery room, to the operating table. Understanding which errors and bad outcomes can be considered medical malpractice can be difficult. Here are some of the more common doctor errors that indicate medical malpractice:
These can be some of the most frustrating injuries. For all parents, the birth of a child should be a joyous and a memorable moment. Just the thought of holding your child for the first time and witnessing its first smile is simply priceless. Unfortunately, there are many cases where the birth of a child can be a sad turn of events. Common injuries at birth are brain injuries like cerebral palsy, bone fractures, and nerve damage like Erb’s or Klumpke’s palsy. These injuries can occur in the normal process of birth and don’t immediately mean that malpractice or negligence occurred. They do warrant a closer look at what happened though. Your attorney will help you identify if there was malpractice during the birthing process:
- Were any potential birth complications missed that should have been identified?
- If forceps or a vacuum extractor used, were they used competently?
- Were all signs of fetal distress responded to appropriately?
- Was a Cesarean section (C-section) appropriate for the situation?
Learn more about birth injuries.
Medication errors account for a good percentage of medical malpractice cases and the fact of the matter is that they are far too common. They can occur when:
- A doctor fails to identify potentially harmful drug interactions
- A patient is given the wrong drug or dosage.
- The misidentification of drugs.
- When dosing equipment functions improperly
Learn more about medication errors.
In the various stages of nearly every illness or disorder, different symptoms will present themselves. One of the first things that doctors learn in medical school is the art of differential diagnosis – the practice of determining all the different diagnoses that could be causing the patient’s symptoms and systematically ruling them out starting out with the most dangerous. Proper diagnosis of a patient’s condition is most often missed because the doctor didn’t consider all of the alternatives and “jumped to a conclusion” prematurely. By then the patient has suffered serious complications or even death.
Learn more about misdiagnosis.
Surgery is inherently risky without taking into account the possibility of surgical errors. The consequences of which can be very difficult for victims to cope with. Whether these consequences are physical, financial, emotional, or a combination, they can permanently affect a person’s well-being. Sadly, many of these errors are ultimately shown to have been preventable. Here a few errors that may suggest medical malpractice or negligence:
- A failure to recognize and treat any surgical complication.
- Any foreign object left in the body, like a sponge or other tool.
- Failure to operate when it is necessary, in a timely manner.
- Unnecessary surgical procedures.
- Surgical procedures performed on the wrong patient or the wrong body part.
Learn more about surgical errors.