Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or other health care professional fails to provide proper medical care or treatment to a patient. This failure causes injury or harm to the patient. Medical negligence is also known as medical malpractice. Johns Hopkins University found that medical malpractice is the third most common cause of death in the U.S. Here are seven common examples of medical negligence cases:
1. Incorrect Or Delayed Diagnosis
Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition is one of the most common bases for a medical negligence claim. For example, if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer or any other serious illness in a patient in a timely manner, it can lead to a medical negligence case. Late diagnosis or misdiagnosis can cause the patient’s condition to worsen and reduce the treatment options.
2. Surgical Errors
Serious errors that occur during surgical procedures due to the negligence of surgeons or other operating room staff are also common grounds for medical negligence claims. For example, surgical tools or gauzes left inside the patient’s body after surgery, operating on the wrong body part, uncontrolled bleeding, and surgical site infections are some surgical errors that can lead to a viable medical negligence case. If you’ve encountered any type of surgical error, get in touch with Lovelace Law professionals.
3. Medication Errors
Errors related to prescribing or dispensing the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or overlooking adverse drug interactions can cause permanent injuries or death. According to a recent study, there are over 1.5 million preventable medication errors each year in the U.S. Examples include prescribing contraindicated drugs, overdosing or underdosing of a drug, and dispensing expired or contaminated medicines. These medication errors provide the basis for many medical negligence claims.
4. Failure To Obtain Informed Consent
Doctors are required to obtain the patient’s informed consent for any invasive treatment or surgery. Failure to do so constitutes medical negligence. For informed consent to be legally valid, the physician must explain the procedure, risks, benefits, and alternatives to the patient and answer all their questions. Without proper informed consent, the patient can pursue a medical negligence claim against the physician.
5. Neglecting Patient Conditions
Failing to properly monitor a patient’s condition, respond in a timely manner, or provide essential care to a patient can constitute medical negligence. For example, if nurses and doctors in a hospital fail to monitor a patient’s condition, don’t notice complications that develop after surgery, or don’t respond to a patient’s calls for help, it may lead to a medical negligence claim due to neglect.
6. Anesthesia Errors
Errors and mishaps related to the administration of anesthesia are extremely dangerous and can lead to life-threatening complications or even death. Too much or too little anesthesia, intubation problems, and wrong types of anesthesia in certain patients are some examples. Anesthesia errors are an important ground for medical negligence claims against anesthesiologists and hospitals.
7. Lack Of Emergency Response
Failure to properly diagnose and respond to emergency medical conditions like heart attacks, strokes, certain types of injuries, acute infections, etc. constitutes medical negligence. For example, if emergency room staff fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and do not provide immediate treatment, the patient may face permanent disabilities or even death. This can form the basis of a viable medical negligence claim against the physicians and hospital.
To Wrap Up
Medical negligence that causes harm to patients due to the failure of healthcare providers to meet the required standard of care provides the ground for legal liability and medical negligence claims. The cases highlighted above represent some of the most common forms of medical negligence that can lead to malpractice lawsuits and damages. Patients and their families need to be aware of signs such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, lack of informed consent, neglect, anesthesia mistakes, and lack of emergency response to pursue potential medical negligence claims.