When you seek medical treatment at a hospital, you expect to walk out knowing that your health condition is going to improve. Sadly, this is not always the case. There are times when medical practitioners make serious mistakes due to some sort of negligence. The victims often walk away without realizing the permanent impact that the medical malpractice will have on them.
In the United States, the number of medical malpractice cases is quite staggering. Statistics show that medical malpractice causes more than 250,000 deaths annually in America. Most of these cases can be quite complicated for patients to comprehend, which is why you need to know the different types of negligence.
Here are the five most common types of medical malpractice:
This form of malpractice occurs in two ways: misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis. When you first visit a hospital, it is the doctor’s duty to ensure that they correctly diagnose your symptoms. However, when the doctor misdiagnoses the symptoms, the patient fails to receive the right type of medical care. There are also cases where a doctor fails to diagnose a condition in a timely manner, thus allowing an injury or disease to progress further than it should have.
There are different ways in which you can be injured by medical malpractice due to surgical errors. For example:
- Unnecessary surgery
- Following the wrong surgical procedure
- Unintentional damage to organs or tissues during surgery
- Leaving foreign objects in a patient
- Performing surgery on the wrong site
Such mistakes can severely affect the patient’s quality of life. One thing that patients need to understand is that just because you signed a consent form does not mean you cannot sue for errors made during surgery. If an injury caused during surgery was avoidable, then the doctor could be held liable.
Birth or Labor Injuries
This type of malpractice is very devastating because it may affect both the parents as well as the newborn. Giving birth is supposed to be a joyful occasion, but in some tragic cases, the doctor’s negligence leads to a birth injury or death of the mother or child. Medical negligence during childbirth can occur in a number of ways. For example, poor handling of a difficult birth, misdiagnosis of an infant’s condition, or failure to conduct a Caesarean section. If the baby suffers permanent damage, they may need lifelong medical care that may ultimately cost the parents millions of dollars.
Medical Treatment Errors
These are errors that result from nursing mistakes, overmedication, giving the wrong medication, overdose, or even anesthesia mistakes. These mistakes can happen prior to a medical procedure or during the procedure itself.
Negligent Follow-up or Monitoring
Once a medical procedure is over, the doctor is supposed to follow-up with the patient to ensure the treatment is working properly. Failure to monitor a patient’s progress and recovery over the long term may lead to side-effects or injury to the patient.
The above list is by no means complete. There are some forms of malpractice that may not fit into such categories. That is why you should always consult a medical malpractice lawyer if you think there was negligence in the way you were handled by your doctor.