In last month’s blog, we talked about medical malpractice: what it is and steps to take if you think you’ve been a victim. This month, we’ll provide an overview of the most common types of medical malpractice.
Types of Medical Malpractice
While this list is not all inclusive, there are five broad types of medical malpractice errors. Your specific case may fall into one of these or represent a combination of several.
If your doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition, or diagnoses the condition incorrectly, you may not receive the treatment you need in a timely manner. The resulting harm can be serious, including worsening of the condition, complications from receiving the wrong treatment or even death. The key is to show that the average competent practitioner would not have made the same mistake under the same circumstances.
2. Medication errors
This extremely common type of medical malpractice can occur in several ways. For example, the doctor can prescribe the wrong medication or dosage, administer the medication incorrectly or fail to notice a potentially harmful interaction or condition that would preclude you from receiving the medication. In a hospital setting, this type of error might occur when a provider gives medication to the wrong patient, although dosing errors are the most common.
3. Pregnancy & childbirth injuries
While most pregnancies and deliveries go according to plan, there are a lot of opportunities for medical malpractice to occur. For example, a provider may fail to diagnose a condition during pregnancy or delivery that threatens the health and wellness of the mother or child. This may include conditions the mother can develop, such as preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility, gestational diabetes and others, or conditions the mother can pass to her fetus, such as herpes, lupus or HIV infection. It can also include failing to detect potential birth defects or abnormalities that could affect the birth and health of the baby.
Negligence can also occur during the birth itself; for example, the provider may fail to note a tangled umbilical cord or fetal distress, improperly use forceps or not perform a cesarean delivery when needed.
4. Anesthesia errors
Anesthesia errors are one of the least common forms of medical malpractice. However, when they occur, they can be devastating and can lead to permanent injury, brain damage or death. They can result from many of the same causes as medication errors, such as dosage mistakes and preventable interactions, as well as failing to properly monitor vital signs or improper intubation.
5. Surgery errors
Despite an abundance of protocols in place to prevent them, surgical errors do occur. This may include performing a procedure on the wrong patient or on the wrong body part, accidentally leaving surgical equipment inside the body or making an error during the surgery that leads to complications or death. In addition, surgical errors include those made after surgery that lead to infection or other complications.
If you suspect you or someone you love is a victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney experienced in this field quickly. There are limited timeframes to file a case and many other intricacies involved with filing that require legal expertise. Give us a call. We have vast medical malpractice experience and can help you determine how best to proceed.