Medical malpractice lawsuits arise when patients are harmed by a nurse, doctor, or other healthcare professional who fails to provide the best possible health care treatment. However, you have to take note that just because a medical provider made a mistake or the patient wasn’t happy with the outcome or course of treatment, it doesn’t necessarily mean that malpractice occurred.

In order for a case to be considered as a malpractice lawsuit, the provider has to have been negligent in some way—this means that the doctor wasn’t reasonably competent or skillful, and that incompetence harmed the patient.

Below are the common mistakes that could result in a malpractice lawsuit:

  1. Anesthesia Errors

Based on medical malpractice statistics, some lawsuits are due to anesthesia errors. Basically, mistakes when administering anesthesia can be deadlier in comparison to surgery errors. Such mistakes can lead to brain damage, permanent injury, or death.

In such cases, malpractice can be committed even before the anesthesia is administered. Failure to know the medical history of the patient to check for potential medication interactions and failing to notify the patients of the risks involved can lead to malpractice lawsuits. Improper intubations, unmonitored vital signs, defective use of equipment, and too much anesthesia are also negligent behaviors subject to malpractice accusations.

2. Childbirth Injuries

Childbirth can be a complicated event, and doctors need to be careful not to harm the child during the process of birthing. A lot of birth complications may be anticipated by a competent doctor and addressed before the birth. Competent physicians should anticipate such problems, otherwise it’ll lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Moreover, improper use of tools or methods can cause permanent damage to the baby.

3. Surgical Errors

Anything can go wrong when patients are on an operating table, but most of these potential issues are preventable. Surgical errors may include infections due to poor hygiene, leaving foreign objects inside the patient, and patients suffering falls while being unconscious. There are also wrong-patient or wrong-site surgical errors, which happen when medical professionals perform a surgery on the wrong patient or wrong part of the body of the patient.

Such mistakes may leave serious mental and physical scars on the victims, so never hesitate to have a malpractice lawyer assess your medical case.

4. Errors with Medication

Medication errors can occur in many ways. From the initial prescription to administering the drug, several mistakes could happen. For instance, patients could be harmed if the doctor prescribes the wrong type of medication given to treat a misdiagnosed condition. Or, if you’re in a hospital setting, the right medication could be given to the wrong patient. 

But the most common errors with medication involve the dosage. The patients may get too little or too much of a drug. This may happen when a doctor writes an inappropriate dosage on the prescription. It can also happen when the nurse administers the wrong amount of dosage, even when the prescription given is right.

5. Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis happens when a doctor diagnoses the patient with the wrong health condition. This may lead to dangerous and unnecessary treatment. It can also worsen the actual condition of the patient.

In addition to that, healthcare providers may fail to recognize the symptoms of the medical condition of the patient until a later date, which results in a delayed proper diagnosis. This can prevent the patient from getting timely treatment, which can cause the condition of the patient to worsen or result in death.

Health care professionals are obligated to diagnose the condition of the patient to the best of their ability. Even if a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, it doesn’t mean that they are liable for malpractice. You would have to show that competent doctors with similar knowledge of the symptoms and medical training would’ve been able to diagnose a condition properly. If you’re confused about your medical case, you should consult with a lawyer.

6. Infections Contracted

One of the reasons why infections happen is because a lot of hospital patients get antibiotics even when they might not need them. In some situations, medical providers may provide patients the wrong kind of antibiotics. Overusing such drugs help to make create bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, otherwise called super germs, as well as kill good bacteria that may be protecting you from bad bacteria. These factors can result in serious—and sometimes fatal—infections.

Conclusion

Medical malpractice lawsuits are regulated by complex rules, which can vary considerably from one state to another. So, it’s important to get representation or advice from a lawyer who has experienced malpractice cases before.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "6 Common Mistakes That Could Lead to a Malpractice Lawsuit," in Medicalopedia, January 6, 2021, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9501/6-common-mistakes-that-could-lead-to-a-malpractice-lawsuit/].