Professional malpractice in medicine takes many forms. Despite many advances in how hospitals and other medical environments provide care and keep patient records, medical mistakes continue to be one of the leading causes of death for adults in the United States.
When a medical mistake is either the result of negligence or a physician doing something that another reasonable professional would not do in the same situation, the patients hurt may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. The three issues below are among the most common forms of modern medical malpractice.
Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
Doctors can’t treat you if they don’t know what’s wrong with you. Unfortunately, overworked and stressed physicians might jump to conclusions about what causes a patient’s symptoms or they might willfully ignore a patient’s concerns. When a doctor reaches the wrong diagnosis or fails to diagnose someone, the patient can have a much worse medical outcome.
Modern prescription drugs can do incredible things, but a patient has to receive them properly for the drugs to do their job. Medication mistakes can take place in the pharmacy if a technician puts the wrong drugs in a prescription vial. They might involve a pharmacist mixing intravenous drugs at the wrong dosage or a nurse mixing up who gets what during their rounds. Any of these mistakes could have fatal consequences.
If you have recently undergone an operation, someone on the surgical team may have used a permanent marker to circle the body part where the operation should occur. This process has become commonplace in part because wrong site, wrong side and wrong procedure surgical mistakes occur every week across the country.
When doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals make mistakes in their job, someone else’s life could be on the line. Medical malpractice could mean thousands of dollars in costs for care and lost wages. Medical malpractice claims might involve filing for insurance compensation for pursuing a civil lawsuit in some cases.