When a health issue arises for you or a loved one, and you have no option but to trust medical professionals to assist you in solving the problem, you can only hope that you are safe in their care. Unfortunately, there are certain situations where medical professionals have caused more harm than good for their patients. In any situation where the accepted standards of care have been violated, and those violations led to serious injury or death, medical negligence may have occurred.
Medical negligence is now the third most common cause of death behind cancer and heart disease. If you or someone you know has been affected by the negligence of a medical professional, you know that it can be an extremely emotional and exhausting experience. Negligence on its own may not merit a medical malpractice suit, but if that negligence led to an injury or death of a patient, the party may be entitled to compensation for those damages. According to a Newswire article by Sara Williams, here are some common causes of medical negligence.
Five Common Medical Negligence Situations
1. Birth/OB-GYN errors
Both mother and child are at risk to be injured during childbirth if a doctor or nurse is not upholding accepted standards of care. Children can suffer injuries such as brain damage and bone fractures while mothers can endure infections or unnecessary vaginal damage if proper procedures have not been adhered to during childbirth.
2. Surgical errors
Many errors that happen on the operating table are unintentional. However, there are some instances where those errors qualify as negligence. Common mistakes made during surgery that may be considered medical negligence include situations such as surgical instruments being left in the body or the surgeon operating on the wrong site.
3. Pharmacy and medication administration errors
If an individual is prescribed medicine in an incorrect dosage, and they have suffered a serious injury due to the medication, negligence is often to blame. Prescription errors made by medical professionals who may be rushed or who aren’t carefully considering the patient may be cause for a malpractice lawsuit.
4. Emergency room or anesthesia error
When patients are admitted to the emergency room, or have a condition that requires them to undergo anesthesia, it’s critically important that medical professionals are taking everything with regards to the patient’s medical history and current health status into consideration. Administering the wrong amount of anesthesia or an incorrect emergency room procedure could cause serious harm or death. Without such careful consideration for a patient’s unique situation, a doctor or nurse may be acting in a negligent way.
5. Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
Probably one of the scariest situations to be in is to find out there has been a misdiagnosis, or a health issue was not diagnosed, and subsequent inadequate/ineffective treatment for your condition. Unfortunately, a misdiagnosis can also lead to complications and even an untimely death.
Medical malpractice suits can be difficult to navigate due to the emotional nature of the unfortunate outcomes of these types of cases. It’s important to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help you and your loved ones decide what may be the best course of action to potentially recover damages due to medical negligence.
Goguen, J. D. (n.d.). Medical Negligence: The Law Explained. Retrieved March 08, 2017, from http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/medical-malpractice/negligence.html
Williams, S. (2017, March 01). Common Situations When People Hire Malpractice Attorneys. Retrieved March 07, 2017, from https://newswire.net/newsroom/blog-post/00095426-common-situations-when-people-hire-malpractice-attorneys.html