The 5 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

A medical malpractice or negligence lawsuit is when a doctor or a healthcare provider causes injury to a patient due to a negligent act, error, or omission. The lawsuit may be filed for compensation for physical, emotional, and other consequences following the negligent act. Medical malpractice is an increasingly important part of tort law. Doctors’ errors and hospital mistakes count among the top leading causes of death in the United States (heart conditions and cancer being the top two causes). Here’s a closer look at the five most common types of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Misdiagnosis 

An incorrect or absent diagnosis or a delay in diagnosing a health condition are among the most common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits. When a doctor makes an error in diagnosis, it can lead to the patient receiving incorrect treatment that may be unnecessary or may cause damage to the patient. In addition, this can result in a delay in the patient receiving the right diagnosis and hence delay the right treatment, which can cause worse health problems or even death. Similarly, failure to diagnose the condition at all can also lead to harm to the patient. In such a case, the patient or their family might decide to pursue a claim with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer; follow the link to learn more.

Surgical Errors

Sometimes, the surgeon or someone from the surgery team might make mistakes on the operating table that can lead to complications or the death of the patient. These errors can include puncturing an organ or vital blood vessel, operating on the wrong organ, etc. These mistakes can lead to infection, pain, and even death. 

Birth Injuries

During a pregnancy and subsequent labor, medical injuries can happen to either the fetus (or baby) or the mother, or both. Sometimes, the injuries to the baby can be quite severe, such as fractures, paralysis, or other injuries leading to cerebral palsy or seizures. Sometimes, these injuries can happen due to natural causes, in which case a malpractice suit does not lead to a settlement. But if the doctor or other medical staff failed to use the proper means of prevention or treatment, and in fact caused the injuries, then the family can pursue a malpractice claim. Similarly, the mother might face medical negligence due to which certain medical conditions might go unnoticed and untreated.

Prescription Medicine Mistakes

Errors in prescribing medication can happen in a number of ways. The doctor might not prescribe the right medication or the right dose. They might not administer it correctly or advise incorrectly on the right way of taking the medication. Sometimes, a doctor can miss an important and dangerous drug interaction too. In a clinic, sometimes the medication between patients might get erroneously switched, leading to devastating consequences.

Anesthesia Mistakes

Anesthesia errors can sometimes be more harmful than even surgical errors. This is because anesthesia is a complicated science that depends a lot on the skill of the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist needs to give the right amount of anesthesia and monitor vital signs. Even a small miscalculation can result in permanent or severe health implications, neurological damage, pain, or death.  

Medical negligence can have far-reaching consequences for the patient and their family. Medical malpractice law is an important part of the justice system that seeks to address the fallout of these consequences.