Monday, July 24, 2017

Medical Malpractice - Common Errors

Medical malpractice claims are vast and there are many different types of medical negligence. While medical negligence can occur in many different ways, the general theme is that negligence occurs when a medical professional deviates from the accepted level of care provided to the patients. Each case is unique with different perspectives. The practice of medicine is complex in nature and it is no doubt that even a minor error by the medical provider can have damages or even life threatening effects on the patients.

If an undue injury is caused by any such deviation from the accepted standard of care, the doctor, staff or hospital may be held liable.

Below are some of the more common categories of medical negligence:

Anesthesia errors
Prior to any surgery, it is essential to perform a preoperative anesthesia assessment and thorough review of patient’s history, medical conditions, medications and allergies to determine whether the patient is medically stable to receive the anesthesia.

Anesthesia malpractice can occur if the Anesthesiologist fails to properly review the patient’s health conditions and wrongly administers drugs to which the patient is allergic, causing injury or even death in some cases. Even if the pre-work has been done correctly, there is potential for negligence if not monitored properly.

Diagnostic errors
Correctly diagnosing medical conditions with the elicited symptoms is critical for providing the appropriate medical care. The physician requires good medical knowledge and clinical expertise. The common diagnostic errors are misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and failure to diagnose. Certain medical conditions exhibit unique signs/symptoms. If the physician fails to recognize those symptoms and diagnose the conditions, then it is negligence. If the X-ray or scan is misinterpreted, it is then the negligence of the radiologist which will lead to wrong diagnosis and will impact further treatment.

It is also crucial to provide diagnosis in a timely manner which can prevent poor prognosis and facilitates fast recovery of the patient. Delayed diagnosis of heart attack, stroke and traumatic injuries can even be fatal.

Surgical errors
Negligence during a surgery can often lead to multiple surgeries, infection, organ damage and even death. The surgeon requires an enormous level of skill; even a small error can have adverse effects on the patient. Errors can happen in variety forms ranging from perforations/unintentional lacerations of the vital organs, profound blood loss, foreign object left in the body, wrong site or even a wrong surgery. It is the duty of the surgeon to take the responsibility to avoid any fatal errors.

Medication errors
Medication error is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The types of medication error includes prescription of wrong/unnecessary medication, wrong dosage, dispensing wrong medication and prescription of multiple drugs which can lead to adverse drug reactions.  

Treatment errors
After diagnosis of the medical condition, it is the utmost responsibility of the physician to provide the correct treatment. Medical negligence can also occur if the right treatment or care is not provided which can result in further damages. It is important that the physician follow-up regularly and monitor the clinical progress of the patient.

Obstetrical errors and Birth injuries
Obstetrical medical errors can lead to devastating effects to both the mother and the baby. Adequate prenatal care and monitoring is essential to prevent any complications in the development of the baby as well during the child labor. Birth injuries can occur if appropriate management is not done during the delivery. If the baby depicts signs of fetal distress, such as breathing problems due to lack of oxygen or reduced heartbeat, then immediate C-section is required. Mismanagement of difficult birth can result in forceps injury or serious damages. Timely diagnosis and treatment of mother’s health condition is essential to prevent any damages to both the mother and the developing fetus.

The categories discussed are just an overview of the common cases; there are a lot more categories. Each case is unique and sometimes complex with multiple facts.

Our Expert team is well trained on medical malpractice claims handling. We support by providing a detailed case analysis with essential details. We include all the evidences available in the medical records to scrutinize the deviations. We provide a complete overview with merits and demerits of the case.

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