What Are Medical Mistakes That Can Lead To Malpractice Lawsuits

A medical mistake is commonly defined as a preventative adverse consequence of health and medical care. Likewise, it is identified as an unintended failure towards accomplishing crucial medical goals by professionals. Errors may be associated with issues in systems, procedures, and practice. 

Unfortunately, medical mistakes are common in the healthcare setting. High error cases with serious outturns most likely happen in emergency care places, operating tables, and intensive care rooms. Moreover, these failures are interrelated with other factors such as new procedures, urgency, the severity of the case, among others. 

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) defined healthcare error as an uncalculated medical mistake in the treatment of a patient. These errors are prevalent in several situations, such as error of commission (incorrect performance), omission (failure to perform), or execution (inaccurate implementation of the procedure).

When Does A Medical Mistake Become A Malpractice?

A medical mistake can be considered malpractice when the negligence of the provider is proven by sufficient evidence. An attorney has to gather evidence to show that the physician was blatantly incompetent to conduct his practice. A medical mistake may constitute malpractice when, due to the doctor’s error, the patient was harmed in any way. Consequently, this failure leads to serious injuries, trauma, and even death.

We place great confidence in doctors and other healthcare providers. However, despite being conscientious, humans as they are, they still commit errors. Unfortunately, these mistakes may bring irreversible effects. Patients may experience lifelong health issues that may damage the quality of their lives. Due to these occurrences, patients and their family members seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the physician, hospital, or a third party.

Medical Mistakes

Medical Mistakes That Can Lead To Malpractice Lawsuits

  • Surgical Errors 

Frequent claims of medical malpractice occur from errors done during an operation. For instance, a surgeon may have been inattentive during the procedure and have accidentally penetrated internal organs, operated on an inexact area, conducted surgery to the wrong patient, or may have left surgical tools in the body. Surgical mistakes may also happen when the nursing aid has been careless in conducting post-operation treatment. 

This kind of negligence can result in severe complications. This may further result in physical and mental trauma to patients after the operation. Hence, when this occurs, the victim or the family may reach out to a surgical error lawyer to assess the case. An attorney may assist you in filing a lawsuit against the surgeon or the staff who were part of the operation.

  • Diagnostic Errors 

Diagnostic mistakes are considered one of the most common medical errors. Notably, there are various types of diagnostic errors. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis make up for a huge portion of this. When a physician fails to correctly diagnose a condition or a serious disease, the patient may miss treatment opportunities. Due to this failure, patients may suffer serious infections or even death.

Misdiagnosis can harm a patient in plenty of ways. A practitioner can be proven guilty with misdiagnosis through procedural comparison—if a competent and careful physician under the same situation wouldn’t have committed the mistake, the failure of another physician to do the same counts as misdiagnosis. The treating physician may then be filed with a case of malpractice.

  • Childbirth Injuries

Notably, childbirth trauma due to medical malpractice is regarded as a personal injury case. This may include enfeebling and permanent injuries to the fetus. For example, when medical staff failed to acknowledge fetal distress during delivery, the baby’s brain will be at risk of receiving insufficient oxygen. This medical negligence may also cause fractured bones and nerve damages to the infant. Nonetheless, it should be noted that certain fetal injuries may stem from other factors other than healthcare errors. 

During the patient’s pregnancy, dereliction of medical duty may harm both the fetus and the mother. For instance, this may occur when the physician fails to determine birth defects or ectopic pregnancies. Additionally, negligence may also happen when the obstetrician failed to diagnose a contagious illness that may affect the fetus.

This is why an obstetrician and the delivery staff should be quick in detecting injuries during delivery. When their failure causes further detrimental issues, then they should be liable for the damage caused. 

  • Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors are considered more hostile than surgery mistakes. A small mistake by an anesthesiologist can cause lifelong injury, brain defect, or even death. 

An anesthesiologist can be held liable for healthcare malpractice even before the administration of anesthesia. For instance, the physician may have provided the inexact amount of dosage to the patient. This may also occur when the physician failed to pay attention to a patient’s vital signs or have incorrectly placed intubation to the latter. These occurrences may be regarded as negligence and if proven, the practitioners will be brought to court.

  • Medication Errors 

Medication mistakes can occur in plenty of ways—from the primary drug prescription to its end management. It is not considered a simple mistake when a physician fails to instruct and administer proper medication to the patient. A wrong drug prescription can be fatal. 

The most common medication error is inaccurate drug prescription. This may occur when the patient has ingested the inexact amount of dosage for medication and when the nurse administers the wrong medicine to the patient.

A doctor should be adequately cautious not to provide the wrong drug treatment to the patient. Physicians are expected to be knowledgeable enough to distinguish various medications. 

Moreover, patients should also take accountability. You are definitely encouraged to ask questions about new drug prescriptions. This knowledge can help avoid further complications due to an inaccurate prescription. 

Final Thoughts

Medical mistakes are adverse circumstances that can potentially be avoided by healthcare providers. It is indeed unfortunate how certain errors could lead to serious harm, permanent injuries, and even death to patients. Likewise, one’s dereliction of duty may lead to imprisonment and the cancellation of one’s medical license. As medical practitioners, extraordinary diligence is always expected—since peoples’ lives are constantly at the palm of their hands. 

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