Have you suffered an injury, deteriorated health, or the loss of a loved one after visiting a health facility? If so, it could be as a result of medical negligence, and you are definitely not alone!
Each year, a total of between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed – and that’s in the US alone.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common kinds of medical malpractice and what you can do when affected by one.
What Is Medical Malpractice
In simple terms, medical malpractice is when a health care professional, or facility fails to adhere to a standard of care set by the health and safety regulations of that country or state. When this happens, the patient ends up suffering harm or serious injuries at times enough to cost a life.
Handling Medical Malpractice
If you’ve suffered harm or an injury that suggests a possible medical malpractice case, it is a good idea to keep calm and seek legal advice as soon as possible. In this case though, you will want to approach a personal injury lawyer who covers medical malpractice.
They can advise you on how to get a second medical opinion and determine if you are eligible to file a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare professional or facility in question.
6 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice
1. Failure to Diagnose
This is by far the most common form of medical malpractice. It usually happens when a health care professional is not able to diagnose and treat a medical condition appropriately. Failing to diagnose a medical problem can put a patient in harm’s way, not forgetting that some ailments such as cancer are better treated when detected early.
Another common form of medical malpractice is a misdiagnosis. This happens when a health care professional is unable to correctly diagnose a medical condition, thus denying the patient the ability to get proper treatment.
If you are treated for the wrong illness, there’s a good chance your medical issue might become worse. This can cost you time and money while negatively affecting your quality of life.
3. Delayed Diagnosis
This occurs when a healthcare professional delays diagnosing a medical condition, resulting in inadequate treatment. Oftentimes, the patient is forced to endure suffering and potentially more harm.
Delayed diagnoses can even be tragic enough to cause fatality. A good example is that of a heart failure or heart attack, where a medical professional only takes action after the patient presents the symptoms of a full-blown heart attack.
4. Prescription Errors
Prescription errors usually happen when a health care professional does not write a proper prescription correctly or does not follow a proper prescription procedure.
The patient ends up getting the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or the wrong instructions on how they should take their meds. These errors can cause great harm to the patient and can also be extremely costly.
5. Surgery Errors
As the name suggests, this kind of medical malpractice occurs in the surgery room. The attending surgeon or healthcare professional makes a surgical mistake that can be ultimately life-threatening.
It could be anything from failing to administer anesthesia to leaving a surgical blade inside the patient’s body or wrongfully placing a catheter!
6. Birth Injuries
Often affecting obstetricians, birth injuries are also quite common. This mostly happens when a baby is born without an umbilical cord, with missing parts, or some kind of damage to the child’s organs during birth. Some of these injuries may also affect the mother, and equally count as medical malpractice.
If you’ve suffered harm at the hands of a healthcare professional, you should not hesitate to seek legal advice as soon as possible. And if the circumstances require it, you can also seek legal action against the facility in question. The above points have pretty much covered some of the most common forms of medical malpractice and how to seek help if you find yourself a victim.