Doctors and other medical professionals have a high standard of care that they must abide by when treating their patients. If the doctor breaches that care due to a negligent action, it can often result in severe injury or even death.

Medical malpractice doesn’t always take place in the operating room of a hospital. It can happen while you’re sitting in a dental chair, the office of your eye doctor, or even during a regular health checkup. It also doesn’t have to be malicious or intentional, as a doctor with “best intentions” can still be negligent if they cause injury to the patient.

Negligence Statistics

Johns Hopkins performed a study in which they determined that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Around 250,000 deaths per year are attributed to medical malpractice.

In 2017, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement ran a survey that looked at the public’s perception of medical errors. It found that around 41% of people in the U.S. thought that their doctor had made an error while under their care.

Here are a few of the more common types of medical negligence and what you can do to help protect yourself if you feel that you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice:

Prescription and Medication Errors

Prescription errors are a very common type of medical negligence. In many instances, the doctor could prescribe two drugs to his patient, which results in a negative interaction and causes further injury to the patient.

The doctor could also prescribe the wrong kind of medication that does more harm than good. It’s somewhat common for hospitals to get the prescriptions mixed up and accidentally give medication to Patient A that was intended initially for Patient B.

Misdiagnosis

The job of a doctor is to correctly evaluate the symptoms of a patient and come up with a correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan. If the symptoms or test results are inconclusive, there is a burden upon the doctor to schedule follow-up tests until he/she is sure that the root cause of the problem has been found.

There are several kinds of misdiagnoses, including:

  • Failure to diagnose symptoms of a stroke
  • Failure to diagnose symptoms of a heart attack
  • Misdiagnosis of symptoms
  • Failure to diagnose symptoms of cancer

Surgical Errors

Many different things can go wrong when a patient undergoes surgery. There are several kinds of surgical errors, such as uncontrolled blood loss, lacerated organs, and even surgical tools left inside the body.

The surgeon could even accidentally puncture another organ such as the intestines or bowels, which can lead to septic infection or even death.

Sometimes the surgeon will operate on the wrong part of the body. This is most often due to medical charts and records getting mixed up in the office or illegible handwriting on the official paperwork.

Medical Product Liability

Doctors, surgeons, and other caregivers are not the only ones who can be held liable in a medical malpractice case. Sometimes a poorly designed medical device can cause injury or death to a patient.

For example, there is a device called an IVC filter. It’s designed to help prevent blood clots. If it should break or fail to perform as advertised, a blood clot could pass on through, enter the bloodstream, and travel to the heart or brain, causing severe injury or even death.

Medical Malpractice Attorney in Ballantyne

Keep in mind that there are certain situations in which you cannot claim medical malpractice. For example, there are times when a doctor cannot treat an illness or condition even though it’s treatable.

As human beings, we’re all different, and not everyone will respond to medical treatment in the same way. The concept of medical malpractice exists only to provide legal protection to patients who have suffered an injury as a direct result of the negligence of a medical caregiver.

If you think you’ve been the victim of medical negligence, give us a call at (704) 887-4981. At the Law Offices of Thomas D. Bumgardner, we have helped many victims of medical negligence over the years. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you seek the justice that you deserve.