The 5 Most Common Medical Malpractice Claims

As much as we would all like to live our lives completely free of health risks and mishaps, it is all but inevitable that we will spend at least a small part of our lives in the hospital, under the care of medical professionals. These are often the times that we are at our most vulnerable, when we become dependent upon the doctors, nurses, and other professionals around us and we place our complete trust and faith in them.

We expect these individuals to provide us with the best level of care possible, and the vast majority of the time, this is exactly what they will strive to do. However, no matter how well-intentioned these people might be, when mistakes are made, patients are morally and legally entitled to some form of financial compensation. It is worth understanding what sort of medical events and mistakes are considered to constitute malpractice. Should you fall victim to any of these, then you shouldn’t be afraid to seek legal counsel and pursue a malpractice claim.

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Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose

A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor gives a patient a diagnosis, which later turns out to be incorrect.To constitute medical negligence, however, the doctor must have had sufficient evidence and reason to have pursued or considered a different diagnosis. A failure to diagnose is when a patient’s symptoms are overlooked and no diagnosis is made, when in fact the attending physician should have been able to identify the problem.

Fortunately, diagnostic errors are becoming less common, and new technologies such as medical microbots are making diagnostic errors a thing of the past.

Prescription Errors

Prescription errors occur when patients are dispensed the wrong medication. The results of this can be catastrophic, potentially fatal even.Prescription errors can be the fault of doctors, nurses, or pharmacy workers, depending upon the setting.

Childbirth Errors

Childbirth errors account for around twenty percent of all malpractice claims and can stem from complications which harm the mother and or the child. The quality of care that motherreceives when giving birth has improved greatly in recent years, but there is still the potential for serious errors.

Some complications during childbirth are unavoidable and, therefore, don’t constitute cases of medical negligence. However, where complications arise from foreseeable and preventable occurrences, a case for negligence can be made.

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Surgical Errors

All surgery carries with it some level of risk,but for a case of negligence to be made, the complications must arise because of an oversight on the part of the surgical team. Potential complications include excessive injury to the patient, and in some cases, even the retention of surgical equipment inside the patient.

Anesthesia Errors

The role of an anesthetist is to administer the correct anesthetic at the correct dose, according to the patient’s weight and medical condition. If the dosage is wrong then patients can wake up during surgery; if the dose is too high, it can lead to other complications.

Medical malpractice can have disastrous consequences for patients and it is important that medical professionals are held to account where such incidents occur.