What Kinds of Mistakes Result in Medical Malpractice?
Medical mistakes can happen in a variety of ways. Many people associate medical errors with serious surgical mistakes, such as amputating the wrong limb or leaving an instrument inside a patient. These stories make the news because they are shocking and devastating.
However, medical mistakes aren’t always immediately apparent, nor do they always occur in an operating room. Patients may not realize they have been injured until months or even years down the road. If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, don’t wait to speak to an experienced attorney. Your medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your case to determine if you have a claim.
Insufficient patient permission before operating
If you have ever had an operation or other kind of medical procedure, you probably remember signing consent forms. In many doctors’ offices, physicians also require you to sign a consent form before receiving a vaccine or even a flu shot. Informed consent means a patient has been given comprehensive information about a surgery or procedure, and that he or she understands why it’s being done and what risks it entails.
Most patients are not doctors. As a result, they rely on medical professionals to give them critical information about their health. When doctors fail to counsel patients or educate them about possible side effects and risks, patients can suffer serious injuries.
When doctors give the wrong diagnosis or fail to diagnose a disease or serious illness, patients can miss a narrow window of opportunity to treat a medical condition. Incorrect diagnosis can be especially damaging in cancer cases, as well as cases involving meningitis, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. According to the National Academy of Medicine, postmortem exams reveal that about 10 percent of patient deaths are due to incorrect diagnoses.
Improperly performed operation
Few people want to go under the knife. When surgeons make mistakes, patients may be forced to undergo additional procedures to correct the damage caused by the error. Surgical mistakes can also leave a person with lifelong health problems and an enduring mistrust of the medical profession.
Prescribing the wrong medication or dose
Medication mistakes harm a growing number of Americans every year. The FDA says it has seen over 95,000 reports of medication mistakes since the year 2000. Medication errors can happen when a doctor fails to check for allergies and drug interactions, or when a pharmacist dispenses the wrong drug or the wrong dose.
Not anticipating a problem they should have foreseen
No one has a crystal ball, and doctors can’t predict the future. It is impossible to foresee every complication and adverse outcome, but patients should be able to count on doctors to be familiar with known risks. For example, certain procedures are known to have poor outcomes in patients with certain preexisting health conditions. Doctors who proceed with a procedure despite known contraindications or the availability of alternatives may be liable for causing injury or death.
Nursing home negligence
The decision to move an elderly parent or other loved one to a nursing home is rarely easy. Unfortunately, the number of seniors subjected to nursing home abuse and neglect has continued to climb in recent years. Abuse can take many forms, from medication errors and mental abuse to unexplained falls and the improper use of restraints.
The hours, days, and weeks after a surgery are a critical time for patients. Complications can develop quickly, and many can be deadly. Doctors must monitor their patients for signs of infection, blood clots, and other indications of a problem.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
To discuss your case with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, call LawMD right away. Our lawyers offer free case evaluations, and an attorney-physician is available to review your case today. Call 888-695-2963.