Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical facility fails to diagnose a patient’s illness or injury, resulting in damage or injury. In some instances, the delayed diagnosis can even result in death. In these instances, the patient has a right to compensation for damages. To be eligible for compensation, a doctor must have provided a standard of care that would have helped the patient. This type of negligence occurs about five percent of the time during outpatient care.
A common case of medical malpractice involves the failure of a surgeon to use the proper instruments for a procedure. This can result from surgical mistakes, such as leaving surgical sponges and instruments inside the patient. Surgical errors also can lead to hospital-acquired infections, which can be serious or fatal. The spread of harmful bacteria and germs among medical personnel is another possible cause of hospital-associated infections. Infections may result from improper handling of blood, surgical instruments, or electrical equipment.
Another common cause of medical malpractice claims is a failure to treat patients appropriately. For example, a doctor may not diagnose a potentially life-threatening condition, such as an umbilical cord prolapse, or a patient with chest pain. The doctor might not have realized that the patient was suffering from a coronary artery disease, which results in a massive heart attack.
While doctors and hospitals take preventative measures, mistakes still happen. In fact, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., second only to cancer and heart disease. Medical errors can result in a delayed diagnosis or a failed treatment, and may even cause death. Therefore, victims of medical negligence should file a complaint with the medical board in their state to ensure that justice is done.
A common example of medical malpractice is an improper use of prescription medications. The wrong medication can cause severe complications, from a simple allergic reaction to a life-threatening overdose. The prescription drugs can also be given to hospitalized patients in the wrong dosage. Even a nurse may mistakenly give a patient the wrong medicine. A medical malpractice lawyer can help a victim navigate the medical malpractice claim process and get compensation for their suffering. They can also help to prevent mistakes in the future.
If you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an attorney immediately. The sooner you start working with a malpractice lawyer, the sooner you can file a claim. Your attorney should prepare the claim for filing and have a medical professional review it before filing it. Your attorney should also file a Certificate of Merit, a sworn written statement from an attorney stating that there is reasonable cause to file a lawsuit.
Another common example of medical malpractice is a delayed diagnosis. Delay in diagnosis or a misdiagnosis prevents effective treatment and often leads to worse outcomes. The delay in diagnosis may even result in a patient’s condition progressing more rapidly or becoming more severe. As such, medical negligence attorneys often advise their clients to visit multiple doctors within the same specialty to ensure a correct diagnosis.