Injuries from medical mistakes happen in many ways. Every single incident has to be examined on its own to determine the actual reason for the error. The most frequent mistakes occur due to incorrect diagnosis, incorrect prescriptions, nursing malpractice, infections after surgery and not recommending a specialist when the patient’s condition calls for one.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Misdiagnosis occurs routinely. To successfully prosecute a malpractice suit, it must be proven that the mistaken diagnosis caused the injury in question. Failing to diagnose cancer is a good example because delaying cancer treatment has a detrimental effect on the recovery speed and survival rate of cancer patients. An aggressive form of cancer can spread quickly if it isn’t spotted, which requires a more aggressive type of treatment to stop the cancer from moving into the lymph nodes or the brain. The cure rate is significantly lower for later stages of cancer. Advanced cancers have a higher rate of recurrence and mortality. The legal term for this is “increased risk of harm.”
Sometimes, the error in diagnosis doesn’t affect the initial injury. An unseen fracture is an error, but if the fracture is correctly identified shortly thereafter and no additional damage occurred, there would be no basis for a malpractice lawsuit.
You could suffer a horrible adverse reaction if your physician prescribes the wrong drug for your condition. Occasionally, a doctor might not take into account the medications a patient is currently using. If some drugs are taken together, they can cause a severe injury or fatality. Some drugs will render another drug worthless or cause it to trigger the opposite effect than was intended when it was prescribed. This could make the original condition worse or cause a fatality.
Hospitals depend on nurses to play a key role in maintaining a patient’s health. Nurses have many responsibilities, including marking the patient’s chart and performing the doctor’s orders. Should a nurse forget a doctor’s instructions or perform them incorrectly, the patient can be harmed irreparably. Incorrectly recording notes on a patient’s chart is another form of malpractice.
If a patient becomes infected during or after a surgery, it is not always a case of negligence. If a doctor doesn’t diagnose the infection in a timely manner and the condition worsens and causes more damage, then the doctor can be charged with negligence. The worst undiagnosed infections are in the chest and abdomen. An infection in either of those areas requires extra vigilance and a careful monitoring of the patient’s temperature, white blood cell count, amount of pus and other conditions. Death or severe disability can result if infections aren’t caught and halted as soon as possible.
Injuries during Birth
As many as 80 percent of all childbirths involve some sort of complication. Most mothers don’t realize that errors during delivery can kill or permanently injure an infant. Errors and malpractice during a birth frequently go unnoticed. Cerebral palsy is one childhood malady that can cause brain damage; it can occur due to excessive force during the delivery. The disability causes children to be unable to control their muscles or the movement of their entire body.
Emergency Room Errors
When a patient goes to the emergency room, the injuries are usually serious and potentially deadly. The highest standard of care must be given in those instances. However, heavy stress and the frantic nature of an emergency room can cause medical professionals to overlook something or make a poor decision.
The Rosenbaum team can help you if you or a family member suffered due to medical malpractice. Call us toll free at 800-753-4257, or contact us online for a free case evaluation.