Medical malpractice affects thousands of people every year. Deliberate or accidental errors can severely impair or cause death to vulnerable patients who rely on medical professionals to help them.
While some professionals are more accountable for mistakes, anyone who works in the field of health and medicine can make mistakes that negatively impact the health and wellbeing of a patient. While there are countless situations that are classified as malpractice, the most common fall into six categories. They are:
1. Surgical Errors
Every surgery has some risk. Patients are made clear of this and even sign waivers before the procedure to protect the staff should something happen. But risk and error are different. Errors are preventable mistakes that happen during the operation. Mistakes can occur from incompetence, poor planning, poor communication, lack of staff, fatigue, neglect, substance abuse, and procedures not properly followed. The law covers every type of surgical procedure.
2. Medication Errors
Is a preventable error that results in the medication being inappropriately used by the medical staff, patient, or consumer while under their control. This can involve dose administration, prescription details and instructions, dispensing, distribution and monitoring of the effects of the drugs, education, and other relevant actions related to the meds.
3. Anesthesia Related Errors
Anesthesia related errors including poor administration and monitoring of the patient during usage, failure to inform person of the preop instructions and side effects of the drug, not using oxygen or using defective or inappropriate tools during the operation. Poor or improper dosage and incomplete documentation pre-and post operation are also common errors.
4. Inadequate Patient Monitoring
Inadequate patient monitoring of clientele covers a huge spectrum of circumstances where patients are not properly observed by medical staff. Essentially, while a patient is under the care of a healthcare professional, they need to be adequately monitored.
5. Incorrect Diagnosis
A delayed or incorrect diagnosis of an injury, illness, or medical condition can cause many problems and life altering or threatening conditions for the patient involved. Missing the health issue or presuming it is something that it is not can result in delayed treatment, incorrect treatments, no treatment whatsoever and incorrect or improper monitoring of the person’s condition.
6. Birth Injuries
If medical staff are not following proper care and procedures during childbirth, the newborn can suffer short term, long term, lifelong, and even life-threatening damage. Infants can suffer from different trauma including brain damage, Cerebral Palsy or other spine damage, and other tissue, skeletal and organ harm during their birth.
Medical malpractice can happen by anyone in any position who works in the field of health and medicine. It can occur in countless forms and can have temporary, long term, or life-threatening effects on the patient and their families.
While under medical care, patients have a right to expect certain standards are achieved by all health care professionals to ensure they are receiving the best, most accurate service. When that doesn’t happen, you may need to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer if legal action is required to protect the person’s rights and future.