What Are The Most Common Medical Malpractice Claims?

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Medical professionals are expected to adhere to strict ethical standards whenever dealing with patients. Medical malpractice occurs when there is a deviation from professional healthcare standards. Therefore, if you or your loved one has suffered injury, illness, or harm that you suspect is caused by medical error, it is advisable to contact Hale Law as soon as possible. 

There are various types of medical malpractice claims that malpractice lawyers handle by investigating the circumstances of the case, identifying liable parties, and helping the client recover any compensation they may be owed for the emotional and physical injuries. Such payment is meant to cater for any extra medical expenses incurred, lost wages, and any other loss sustained due to the medical error. Read on to learn more about the typical type of malpractice claims in America.

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

A survey in Modern Healthcare revealed that 33% of all medical malpractice insurance claims filed between 2013 and 2017 were directly related to delayed or missed diagnoses. Medical professionals who are reckless with the diagnosis process should be held accountable because a correct and early diagnosis could mean the difference between life and death. Conversely, patients that have been subject to an incorrect or late diagnosis usually fail to receive the proper treatment or suffer unnecessary treatments. 

Misdiagnosis occurs when medical professionals fail to recognize various illnesses’ clinical signs and symptoms, refer the patient to a specialist, order medical tests that may supply additional information, or take other reasonable measures to identify the patient’s condition. Misdiagnosis can also be caused by errors, e.g., errors when conducting the test or evaluating the data and mislabelled or lost test results. 

Failure to Treat

Failure to treat is a species of medical malpractice that breaches the standard of care that medical professionals accept when they take on a patient. Patients can suffer a failure to treatment in a wide range of circumstances, including whenever a medical professional fails to order necessary medical tests, releases a patient from the hospital prematurely, fails to provide follow up care or appropriate instructions, or neglects to consider a patient’s medical history when prescribing treatment. 

Medical professionals who care for more patients than they can handle are more liable to perform failure to treat acts or omissions than those who keep a reasonable workload. Therefore, doctors are encouraged to direct patients to other qualified professionals whenever they feel their resources are strained by their workload. 

Prescription Drug Errors

When healthcare professionals prescribe medication that is not compatible with the patient, the consequences usually fall between loss of life and a mild allergic reaction. 

Prescription errors usually include scenarios where a patient has been prescribed the wrong medicine for the condition diagnosed or prescribed an incorrect dosage. Such errors are also likely where the medical professional fails to recognize dangerous allergic reactions or drug interactions and does not recognize signs of addiction that may cause abuse and overdose in certain patients. 

Surgical or Procedural Errors

Whenever patients undergo an emergency or elective surgery, the various medical caregivers in the operating room have a duty to prevent them from harm. These standards also apply to outpatient procedures like biopsies and vasectomies. The most common surgical and procedural errors include operating on the wrong part of the body, operating on the wrong patient, leaving medical equipment inside the patient, anesthesia-related complications, failure to comply with the accepted medical practices at every stage of the process and lack of proper communication amongst the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals present in the operating room. 

Childbirth Injuries

Injuries sustained during pregnancy and childbirth have severe results that are often the subject of medical malpractice claims. For example, birth injuries may be caused by poor prenatal care, excessive force or improper use of forceps when extracting the baby from the birth canal, failure to perform a C-section when necessary, failure to recognize fetal distress, and mishandling of the baby during or after birth, e.g., by shaking or dropping. Birth injuries may also occur when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck, mouth, or nose. 

Mothers are entitled to receive sufficient notice of prenatal health conditions before birth. For example, it is considered ethical practice for doctors to inform parents of any health conditions their child is likely to suffer e,g—Down’s Syndrome. 

A study by Johns Hopkins revealed that medical errors cause about a third of all deaths annually, estimated between 250,000 and 450,000. If you suspect you may have suffered medical malpractice, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

 Read also: Long Term Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injury After A Car Accident

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