Recognizing mistakes that healthcare providers make on a regular basis can help a patient determine whether he or she has a valid legal claim against the provider. Some of the most common reasons for medical malpractice claims include:
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Misdiagnosis is the leading cause of medical malpractice cases. It occurs when a healthcare provider fails to find the cause of the patient’s symptoms and attributes them to another condition, often providing a treatment plan or prescriptions that do not help or exacerbate the patient’s systems. According to a 2014 study by the Houston Veterans Affairs Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety, approximately 12 million people are misdiagnosed every year in the United States.
Approximately six to eight children are injured per 1,000 births. Birth injuries can be serious and may lead to such conditions as:
- Brachial Plexus Palsy
- Brain damage
- Nerve damage
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Spinal cord injuries
These injuries can lead to lifelong obstacles and expenses. Tragically, many childbirth injuries lead to paralysis, brain damage, fractures and other serious physical and mental consequences. Birth injuries may take years to treat. Medical malpractice lawyers assess possible causes for birth injuries and whether healthcare providers can be held legally responsible for them.
General anesthesia allows doctors to keep patients unconscious during a procedure so that they can more safely operate on a patient. However, improper anesthesia can cause harm to a patient. In the worst cases, anesthesia errors can be fatal.
Errors with Medication
Patients can suffer injuries if they are given medications improperly. This includes medication errors involving:
- Unclear labeling on the medication
- Improper administration of medication
- Giving a patient an improper dosage
- Not communicating with patients about other medications
Healthcare providers who do not take a full medical history on a patient and discuss the types of medications that he or she is consuming may prescribe medication that is dangerous to the patient. Medical malpractice lawyers thoroughly review a patient’s medical records to determine when doctors have failed to ask about current medications or failed to note their findings.
Another surprisingly common error is errors made in surgery. Doctors may leave sponges or surgical tools in a patient, perform surgery on the wrong part of the body or perform surgery on the wrong patient. Medical malpractice lawyers can assist with pursuing compensation.