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Medical malpractice is defined as negligence by either an action or inaction
by a professional health care provider in which the treatment or lack
thereof failed to comply with accepted standards of the medical community
and either caused injury or death to the patient.
In caring for a patient a healthcare provider has a duty or a responsibility
to use the skill and care ordinarily used by a reasonably well-qualified
healthcare provider. A healthcare provider who fails to do so is negligent.
If a treating doctor knows or should know that another doctor with other
or better qualifications is needed for the patient to receive better medical
treatment, the treating doctor must tell the patient.
A doctor has a duty or responsibility to inform or tell a patient about
alternatives for treatment and the likely result if a medical condition
Consent is not a defense to negligent medical care or treatment.
What Are Common Forms of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a serious form of negligence that happens all too
frequently. According to a report released by HealthGrades, a healthcare
quality company, an average of 200,000 Americans die yearly due to medical
malpractice. Institute of Medicine statistics reveal that medical malpractice
usually occurs in midsize and large hospitals, but can occur in any type
of healthcare facility. There are several types of medical malpractice,
these include but are not limited to:
Anesthesia error– There are two types of anesthesia: general and local. Local is just applied
to the specific part of the body where the procedure will take place.
A good example of this is when you go to the dentist for a filling and
they apply anesthesia around the tooth. General anesthesia is reserved
for larger-scale operations and requires the patient to be put in a medically-induced
coma. While it is the responsibility of the anesthesiologist to ensure
the patient has the correct dose and type, life-threatening mistakes can
be made. It is estimated that around 44,000-98,000 Americans die annually
due to anesthesia errors.
Misdiagnosis– Under this category, there are several different types of misdiagnoses.
A doctor or nurse could fail to diagnose a condition, they could have
a delay in diagnosis, a misdiagnosis, or they may overlook complications
or the underlying disease itself. All of these scenarios can have an extremely
negative impact on the patient. Misdiagnosis generally results in the
patient not being treated properly. Permanent disability or death could occur.
Surgical error – Unfortunately, a moment’s distraction on the operating table can
lead to serious consequences. Surgical errors are often due to surgeon
or staff fatigue or distraction. They can also be carried out on the wrong
site, the wrong patient, or even be the wrong procedure. Wrong site errors
are when the staff makes an error and operates on the wrong location of
the patient’s body. Wrong patient error occurs when the staff operates
on the wrong patient completely. And finally, the wrong procedure is when
the surgical team operates on the right patient but with the wrong type
Medication error – A medication error is defined as any preventable event that may cause or
lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm, including wrongfully
dangerous drugs. The Institute of Medicine released a report that said at least 1.5 million
people are harmed every year due to medication error. Hospital understaffing
or overworked staff can lead to medication errors. Under dose and overdose
occur frequently in hospital settings and long-term care facilities.
Information About Medical Malpractice Claims
The types of medical malpractice injuries listed above are just a few cases
we have seen through our years as a personal injury firm. All of the aforementioned
scenarios can qualify for a claim. If you are interested in filing a claim
for the medical malpractice injury you sustained, it is crucial that you
are informed of all legal requirements and restrictions. Depending on
the type of medical malpractice you suffered, you will need to make the
An attorney at our firm can help gather vital information and guide you
to making the best informed decision for your situation. Please do not
contact us if you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice or you have
sustained an injury from your procedure or stay in a hospital.
We look forward to serving you and making your claim or lawsuit go as smoothly
as possible. Contact us at (505) 906-6774 today.