Whether you take your child in because of a traumatic injury while playing sports or you need help addressing chronic pain symptoms, you usually know when professional medical support is necessary. If you don’t know the cause of your symptoms or if the appropriate treatment is not available over the counter, then you likely need the help of a medical professional.
You put your health and the well-being of your family in the hands of a doctor whenever you seek medical treatment. Most of the time, doctors will improve someone’s health and help them get appropriate treatment based on their symptoms, but sometimes doctors make mistakes.
Serious mistakes may constitute medical malpractice. When you understand the more common forms of medical malpractice, you will be a better advocate for yourself and your family members.
Diagnostic errors are arguably the most common form of medical malpractice. Many diagnostic mistakes escape professional notice, but researchers estimate that they claim the lives of tens of thousands of people every year and affect hundreds of thousands more.
Surgery is one of the most precise medical treatments available and also the most invasive. When mistakes occur during surgery, these errors can cause permanent consequences for patients and can sometimes prove fatal.
Maybe you needed intravenous (IV) medication administered at the hospital, but a pharmacist made a mistake compounding the drug. Perhaps you took a pill orally while in the hospital, but a nurse handed you the wrong medication. Medication errors both diminish how effective treatments prove to be and can also cause harmful secondary medical consequences, like an allergic reaction.
Birth injuries are a broad range of medical consequences suffered either by the mother or the child during the labor and delivery process. Brain damage caused by a failure to intervene and fetal mortality linked to inappropriate use of interventions are among the most devastating birth injuries. Birth injuries can lead to lasting medical costs and permanent infertility or death.
Maybe your loved one is in a nursing home and the staff members there keep forgetting to give them medication or to check on them so that they have support to go to the bathroom. Medical negligence involves professionals who should provide care for someone in a facility ignoring a patient or signs that they require support.
Medical malpractice typically involves a deviation from best practices combined with an unfavorable outcome for the patient. Those with provable consequences from a medical mistake may have grounds for an insurance claim or in some cases a civil lawsuit. Educating yourself about the kinds of medical malpractice that can occur will help you identify and react to such mistakes.