Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor makes a preventable mistake. Doctors are human and the science behind modern medicine is also based on human discoveries and we all know that humans aren’t perfect. Some mistakes in the field of medicine are inevitable and even expected. Not every mistake a doctor makes will be considered medical malpractice. However, more preventable mistakes are made each year than you might think, and many of these mistakes can even be fatal. Here are the five areas where doctors often make mistakes resulting in medical malpractice.
When you go to the doctor with concerning symptoms, the doctor’s job is to then give you a diagnosis. A diagnosis will identify the problem, its source, and potential treatments for the problem. A misdiagnosis can be disastrous for many reasons. The treatment itself may be harmful if the condition is not present. Some treatment may be painful or have other negative side affects that could have been avoided if a proper diagnosis was made. Misdiagnosing the problem is also a concern because it means that the necessary treatment is going to be withheld and the condition may worsen or end up being debilitating or fatal.
Surgery can be complicated and dangerous. Surgical errors can result in serious injuries, illnesses, disabilities, and even death. Surgical errors may include damaging a healthy artery, organ, or other structure during the surgical process. This could cause internal bleeding, lasting pain, or worse. There are numerous cases of doctors performing surgery on the wrong limb or body part. Surgical equipment or materials may be left inside the body. Sponges, rags, or even small instruments have been found in previous surgical patients. This can cause infection, pain, or serious life-threatening complications.
A doctor may have the correct diagnosis of a patient but administer inappropriate treatment. Sometimes, the standards of care or new treatment options are available, and the doctor hasn’t kept up with current practices or the doctor may simply fail to create an appropriate treatment plan with the patient.
Prescribing the wrong medication to a patient can have devastating and even fatal consequences. A doctor may make a medication error by not paying attention to a patient’s history or allergies listed in medical records. If a patient is allergic to ingredients in a prescribed medication and the doctor had access to that knowledge, he would be liable. Prescribing wrong dosage amounts or medicine that’s inappropriate for the condition are other common errors.
Not Preventing Infection
According to medical malpractice experts, a significant number of patients contract infections while staying at the hospital. If the hospital did not take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses and the infection of patients staying at the hospital, it can be held liable for damages.
If you’ve been harmed by a preventable mistake, an expert medical witness can help prove that the mistake that was made could have been avoided if reasonable care had been taken.