Today, medical technology is significantly advanced as it’s unequivocally designed to reduce the number of errors. Unfortunately, medical mistakes are still common despite the advancement in technology. Medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, indicating the problem needs immediate control, and someone has to be answerable.
While cancer and heart diseases are not preventable, medical errors are. Therefore, patients can file medical malpractice against the hospital, physician, or other healthcare professionals that caused the death or injury of a loved one.
Whether you are a concerned family member or a victim of medical malpractice, understanding the causes of medical errors could save a life. In addition, being aware and proactive will ensure you receive the best standard of care, even when your doctor is too busy.
The 5 Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice
Malpractice is a form of negligence done by a healthcare professional. Physicians are the most named defendants during a malpractice lawsuit, but other healthcare professionals that can cause injury include pharmacy staff, nurses, assistants, surgeons, aides, pharmaceutical companies, radiologists, and administrators.
Malpractice lawsuits are extensive, but below are the most common types of cases seen:
1. Medication Errors
America sadly relies heavily on prescribed medication, and some of the errors can include:
- Dispensing wrong medication
- Giving insufficient instructions on how to take the medication
- Wrong prescription or wrong dosage
- Prescribing drugs with dangerous interactions
- Dispensing medication at the incorrect concentration
In one case, an Interstitial Cystitis patient explained, “I got damage to my eye sight after taking Elmiron, and I wasn’t aware of the side effects.” This started an Elmiron lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
2. Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis
Delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis may sound similar, but the two terms differ. Delayed misdiagnosis happens when a patient is treated for symptoms without treating the underlying condition. Misdiagnosis is the incorrect conclusion about a disease.
Both situations can lead to complications, causing pain, agony, permanent disability, or death of the patient.
3. Childbirth Injuries
Childbirth injuries and deaths are tragic and have devastating effects. If a child is injured during childbirth, leading to long-term disability, the family will have to use more finances to care for the child.
Some of the most common childbirth injury claims include:
- Neglecting the mother’s medical condition, which has a direct effect on the child
- Failure to perform c-section on time
- Failure to treat or diagnose an ailment that’s contagious to the fetus
- Failure to detect or diagnose congenital disabilities during an antenatal clinic visit.
- Failure to use the correct delivery procedure, resulting in the child’s physical injury
Childbirth negligence begins during prenatal care or can happen during delivery.
4. Anesthesia Errors
Every anesthesia procedure requires clear-cut communication between the anesthesiologist and the patient regarding the risks involved. In addition, this procedure requires expert decision, agility, problem-solving ability, skill, and teamwork.
Lack of communication, negligence and unavoidable injury are the three leading causes of damage, such as heart attacks, organ failure, brain failure due to lack of oxygen, and even allergic reactions.
5. Emergency Room Mistakes
An emergency room (ER) setting differs from a typical hospital environment. For example, ERs may receive multiple patients daily, easily making the room chaotic, disorganized, and dangerous.
Negligent doctors or staff members may rush treatment, fail to treat injuries, misdiagnose patients, or prescribe the wrong medication. These mix-ups can ultimately lead to a patient’s death or fatal injury.
Find an Advocate for Your Medical Malpractice Case
If you or your loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, speak to an advocate well-versed in handling these cases. Medical malpractice might be familiar, but each case is unique, depending on the victim, extent of injury, and expected compensation.
A medical malpractice lawsuit is a highly complicated area of the law. You may go against an established pharmaceutical company or hospital with a team of lawyers ready to prove you wrong. Therefore, working with an attorney gives you a winning chance.