Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider causes injury by failing to use the care and skill used by ordinarily careful providers practicing. A failure to use such care, skill, or diligence is negligence. A Plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove that the provider was negligent, and also that the provider’s negligence was a cause of the injuries they suffered.
Below are some examples of the kinds of medical errors frequently giving rise to malpractice claims.
Failure to diagnose a medical condition is one of the most common types of medical errors. Sometimes diagnostic errors occur in the emergency department of a hospital, and other times the failure to diagnose occurs in the doctor’s office. One example is failure to diagnose a heart attack when the patient presents with atypical symptoms. Another example is misreading an x-ray or MRI.
Every year, thousands of people are victims of surgical mistakes while undergoing a procedure. Hospitals, doctors, and nurses can make mistakes in the procedure itself, or they can make mistakes in following up after the procedure. Sometimes objects like surgical sponges and clips are left in the body after surgery. Surgical errors can result in very serious illness and even death.
Medication errors are also common. A pharmacist might make a mistake while dispensing a drug. A technician could improperly measure drugs while compounding medication for intravenous delivery. A nurse at a hospital could give someone the wrong pill. Medication errors need to be investigated carefully so as to prevent them from happening again.
Birth injuries can occur during prenatal care and during delivery of a child. Sometimes hospitals fail to respond to alerts from the fetal heart monitor during the labor process, and the baby suffers from a loss of oxygen to the brain. Sometimes injuries occur when the baby is pulled from the birth canal with forceps.
There are many other forms of medical malpractice, and you can encounter medical malpractice at the emergency room or at your primary care physician’s office. Recognizing medical malpractice is often the first step toward achieving justice and compensation, and improving the delivery of medical care in your community.