Medical malpractice is caused by the negligence of a medical professionals. It can create lifelong injuries and disabilities, in addition to pain, suffering, loss of wages and even death. No malpractice case is the same, but there are some that are more common than others.
“The nature of the treatment and injury can vary greatly in malpractice cases,” said Thomas D. Bumgardner, Ballantyne medical malpractice attorney. “No matter the cause, it is important to remember that all successful cases require the victim to prove that the medical professional was negligent and caused harm.”
In this week’s blog, we discuss the most common mistakes that medical professionals make when they commit medical malpractice.
One of the most common errors a doctor makes is misdiagnosis (or delayed diagnosis) of a condition. A misdiagnosis can result in missed opportunities for treatment. The effects of these missed opportunities may be life-altering or even life-threatening. The leading misdiagnosed conditions include infections, tumors, heart disease, pulmonary embolisms and heart attacks.
In order to prove malpractice in these cases, it must be proven that the doctor in question did not provide the same diagnoses that a competent doctor would have under the same circumstances.
Medical malpractice can be committed before the delivery even begins. Mistakes made by doctors and OB/GYNs while the child is still in the womb can lead to lifelong injuries. Some of these errors include:
- Failure to diagnose a condition that can be passed from mother to child.
- Failure to identify the child’s birth defects.
- Failure to identify a pregnancy developing outside of the womb.
Injuries during childbirth can cause harm to both the mother and the child. Common birth injuries caused by medical negligence are:
- Failure to recognize and act upon signs of fetal distress.
- Failure to anticipate birthing problems caused by the size of the baby.
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor.
- Failure to order a caesarian section when necessary.
Improper Prescription of Medication
In some cases, doctors prescribe the wrong type of medication or the wrong amounts. It is surprisingly easy to administer the wrong dosage. If a decimal point is written in the wrong spot, a patient can receive 10 – 100 times too much or too little of the proper dosage.
This mistake can potentially cause brain damage, internal injuries and even death. A dosage error could be made by a doctor prescribing the drugs, a nurse administering the medication or a pharmacist fulfilling the prescription.
Surgical errors are often the most publicized mistakes committed in the medical profession. There have been several stories in the media regarding a foreign object being left inside of a body or the wrong surgery being performed. Doctors can also make errors during surgery by damaging nerves and failing to control bleeding.
Errors are also made when administering anesthesia. Just like prescription medication, too much or too little anesthesia can be given to a patient. Before anesthesia is administered, an anesthesiologist may fail to recognize allergies or fail to warn the patient of pre-surgical needs (such as not eating before surgery).
After surgery begins, common mistakes include:
- Failure to read and react to vital signs
- Improper intubation of the patient
- Use of defective equipment
Have Questions? Talk With A Medical Malpractice Attorney
“While one of these mistakes may have happened to you or a loved one, that doesn’t necessarily mean malpractice was committed,” said Bumgardner. “The best course of action is to review all of the facts with a legal professional.”
Thomas D. Bumgardner is an experienced medical malpractice attorney with a track record of getting results. If you feel you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, schedule a free consultation by calling 704.887.4981.