When we go to a health care provider or hospital for medical care we necessarily rely upon the expertise of the doctors, nurses, surgeons and clinicians and place our trust in them to get the best medical care. Sometimes the outcome may not be what we were hoping for due to the nature of the illness or injury. But unfortunately, there are situations in which a health care provider is careless and commits medical malpractice, by failing to demonstrate the same skill and care as any reasonably competent practitioner with the same type of training would under the same circumstances.
If medical malpractice occurs, that does not automatically mean that you are entitled to monetary damages. You have to have suffered an injury and/or suffered damages as a result of the malpractice. Most medical malpractice cases involve a higher degree of complexity due to the specialized skill, training and knowledge required of physicians and other health care providers, therefore expert witnesses are required in just about every medical malpractice case.
Common Errors That May Constitute Medical Malpractice
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis: The wrong diagnosis or delayed diagnosis can lead to improper medical care resulting in further illness or death. A wrong or delayed diagnosis can result from a variety of errors, including negligence in arriving at the wrong diagnosis, or failure to timely refer to a proper specialist. Errors in diagnostic testing such as radiology or pathology can occur as a result of human error or faulty equipment, resulting in wrong or delayed diagnosis. If you suffered harm as a result of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, you may have a valid basis for a medical malpractice claim.
Medication errors: Prescription drugs can potentially have dangerous side effects or cause allergic reactions and should not be given to certain patients. Some drugs when taken together may cause severe and potentially fatal interactions. There have also been many cases where the wrong dose or wrong medication has been given to a hospitalized patient, due to incorrect information in a medical chart or as a result of negligence of hospital staff. Prescription errors are dangerous and can cause severe injuries which form the basis of a medical malpractice claim.
Unnecessary surgery: Unnecessary surgery is often the result of medical malpractice which stems from misdiagnosis, but also can result from errors in medical charts, communication errors, and general failure of staff and/or surgeon to properly identify the patient and/or the procedure which is to be performed.
Surgical errors: Foreign retained objects, operating on the wrong body part, failure to properly administer anesthesia, scalpel errors, and failure to properly monitor and provide post-operative care are all common causes of injuries and death. These are only some of the some of the types of surgical errors which may result in a medical malpractice lawsuit.