A medical mistake can be a devastating experience, mainly if it results in harm or a misdiagnosis. Suppose you feel that your doctor or another surgeon failed to properly treat an injury in an operating room, prescribe the correct drugs after surgery, or follow up on medical care procedures they should have performed.
The law recognizes that not all injuries result from intentional wrongdoing. Sometimes injuries result from mistakes made by healthcare professionals who must provide safe treatment. In that case, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE & NEGLIGENCE
When a healthcare professional does not act within the acceptable standards of care, this is considered medical malpractice. The victim might have the option of suing for damages if their injury was due to medical negligence.
The good news is that medical malpractice claims are not difficult to bring. The plaintiff isn’t required to prove that the doctor intended to cause harm. The burden lies on the doctors’ attorney to show that the treating physician followed a standard of care.
Unfortunately, it may be difficult if the patient is misdiagnosed or prescribed inappropriate treatment for a particular condition. The key in this type of case is proving medical negligence and actual harm due to that negligence.
Negligence is a legal term describing a situation where someone has not acted responsibly or done something that any reasonable person would do under the circumstances. It can be defined as being careless, reckless, or failing to act as a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances.
RECEIVING A MISDIAGNOSIS
In personal injury law, misdiagnosis is when a doctor fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses something that any doctor with their level of training and available information should have been able to figure out.
Some examples of misdiagnoses that may result in personal injury are:
- Heart attack and stroke cause patient to seek incorrect treatment
- Cancer screening missed by the medical provider
- Pulmonary embolism incorrectly diagnosed for pneumonia
- Lyme Disease and Celiac Disease wrongly diagnosed
Studies have found that over 5 percent of US adults get a misdiagnosis by their doctors. One study estimated a staggering 12 million adult Americans are affected each year.
RECEIVING A DELAYED DIAGNOSIS
Delayed diagnosis is the act of causing a delay in identifying symptoms or a condition. Sometimes this is done intentionally due to negligence on the part of a doctor, while other times may be due to poor communication between patient and doctor.
These cases can involve any malpractice, including gastric malpractice, slip-and-fall personal injury, medical malpractice, and even medical negligence.
If your doctor takes too long to diagnose your condition – and your health and well-being suffer as a result – you may be able to pursue a negligence claim against them. These types of personal injury cases involve more complex medical concepts than other types like car accident injuries, and therefore require more detailed analysis.
CHILDBIRTH INJURIES TO MOTHER OR BABY
Medical negligence is an issue that affects all people, including those who are pregnant. Doctors may make mistakes during pregnancy or childbirth that cause irreparable damage to the unborn child and their parents.
Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Brachial Palsy
- Bruising or Forcep Marks
- Caput Succedaneum
- Facial Paralysis
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
When this occurs, it places a heavy financial burden on the family to provide ongoing care for their children and emotional stress from not knowing if the baby will survive or how severe the injury will be.
Surgical errors often result in serious harm to the patient. Studies show nearly 75% of errors occur during surgery. They can include a wide variety of possible mistakes.
Some common errors include:
- Failure to control bleeding
- Operating on a wrong patient
- Failure to monitor the patient’s vital signs
- Operate on the incorrect body part or opposite side
- Leaving medical equipment inside a patient
- Damaging nerves, tissues, or organs
- Performing an unsafe procedure
In an ideal world, surgery would be as safe as possible. Unfortunately, mistakes happen—and when they do, they can have life-altering consequences for the patient. No one expects the complications that can arise from surgery or any other procedure, but we hope our surgeons are competent professionals capable of handling even unexpected events with grace.
ERRORS PRESCRIBING MEDICATION
A medication error happens when a patient is not given the right drug or given too much or too little medication at the right time. Medication errors can occur in any healthcare setting, including hospitals, clinics, doctor offices, and pharmacies.
Medication errors in healthcare facilities can be deadly for patients. They are one of the leading causes of death and injury among patients in all hospitals. Medication errors can occur anywhere along the supply chain, from a doctor’s prescription to a pharmacy dispensing area.
Infections are one of the most common side effects of medications. Antibiotics, for example, may cause problems with your intestines and lead to diarrhea or constipation. Pain medications can affect your liver and make it harder to control your blood sugar. Taking multiple medications can also interact in ways that cause serious problems that neither would create on its own.
Hospital-associated infections (HAIs) are one of the most common complications for patients and are responsible for millions of deaths globally each year. HAIs can occur when you bring your body into contact with another person or environment.
The most common hospital-associated infections are by bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or fungi like Aspergillus, Candida albicans, and Cryptococcus neoformans. These pathogens enter through the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, or skin.
The medical care system is a complex and challenging maze of laws, regulations, and scientific advances. At Dell’Armi Law, we work to protect and preserve the rights of our clients by representing them in medical malpractice and negligence cases. We specialize in helping people navigate the bureaucratic process and providing them with fair compensation for physical injuries or death resulting from a failure to provide appropriate treatment.
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In medical procedures, it only takes one mistake to cause serious harm. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, do not wait to take action. Your family deserves care and respect when seeking medical treatment. When the doctor fails, Dell’Armi Law is here to fight for your rights.