There are hundreds of thousands of patients being treated every day in hospitals and private clinics. When you seek medical care and attention in a healthcare facility, you expect to receive the best possible medical treatment from healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, this does not happen every time. Many people suffer injuries, mental trauma and even lose their life due to medical negligence or errors.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice, also known as medical negligence, refers to the breach of a healthcare professional’s responsible duty to provide quality, safe and efficient care. Medical negligence happens due to avoidable errors and seriously impacts the quality of life of a patient. It may result in claims being filed against healthcare professionals with the help of medical malpractice attorneys.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for Medical Malpractice?
Mistakes in medical practice may have happened from the following individuals or even a group of them.
- Hospitals, healthcare centers, clinics
- Nursing homes
- Rehabilitation centers
Common Medical Malpractice Situations
Medical malpractice can cover a wide range of situations. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.
1 - Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose correctly
When a medical professional fails to diagnose a medical condition or gives an incorrect diagnosis, it is a case of medical malpractice. Delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose illnesses happens because some diseases manifest the symptoms of other diseases or exhibit some less-common warning signs that are hard to identify. The most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions include cancer, meningitis, diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis, heart attack, and Parkinson’s disease. Misdiagnosis means that an individual will not get appropriate treatment, while failure to diagnose means the individual will not receive timely medical treatment. In many cases this can be a case of life or death for the patient.
2. Medication or prescription errors
Prescription or medication errors are widespread in the medical world and dangerous too. Doctors write thousands of prescriptions every day. The majority of them are correct. However, mistakes may happen on account of negligence. The healthcare professional must prescribe the right medicines and dosage so that no harm is caused to a patient’s health. Medication errors, in most cases, are not reported by patients.
Some standard prescription or medication errors include:
- The doctor makes a mistake while writing the prescription.
- Prescribing a medicine that a patient is allergic to.
- Incorrect dosage is given by hospital staff.
- The pharmacist gives a different medicine than what was prescribed.
- Not accounting for dangerous drug reactions while prescribing two drugs together.
3. Surgical errors
Any surgery, major or minor, comes with risks even when performed correctly by the surgeon. Surgical errors elevate the standard medical complications, resulting in harmful consequences to a patient. This may be infection, revision surgery, or may even lead to death. Surgical errors may also happen if the surgeon performs surgery under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Some common surgical errors include:
- Leaving a foreign object inside the body.
- Performing an incorrect operation.
- Operating a wrong body part.
- Injecting too little or too much anesthesia in the body.
- Making an incision at the wrong location in the body.
4. Careless medical advice
Good medical practice involves responsibility from healthcare professionals. Before performing any procedure, it is important to advise patients about the risks associated with the same. If any alternative procedures are available, the medical professional must inform the patient regarding it. Proper medical advice is crucial to make an informed decision whether to continue with the medical procedure or not. In a case of negligent medical advice, a patient can file a compensation claim.
5. Pregnancy and childbirth injuries
Pregnancy and injuries during childbirth can be emotionally and physically distressing for the mother, child, and the entire family. Pregnancy and childbirth errors may happen from a gynecologist during pregnancy, delivery, or even after delivery. Medical malpractice by a professional during pregnancy can have severe consequences on the mother and child.
If you have suffered injuries due to medical negligence, contact a medical malpractice lawyer today to get the right compensation you deserve.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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