Medical mistakes are a serious public health issue in the United States. Estimates from studies suggest that preventable medical mistakes kill 251,000 to 440,000 US patients each year.
With the great trust we put in doctors and other medical professionals, it is unfortunate that a doctor’s mistakes can significantly affect their patients, be it loss of life or reduction in quality of life.
Common Medical Errors Leading to Lawsuits
Medical negligence in the United States is the third-leading cause of death, right behind heart disease and cancer, according to a report published by The Journal of the American Medical Association. In 2012, over $3 billion was spent on medical malpractice payouts, averaging one payout every 43 minutes.
Medical malpractice lawyers can help you avoid becoming an unfortunate part of these statistics. The following are some of the types of malpractice that can lead to lawsuits.
Doctors sometimes fail to recognize and diagnose a condition that a competent doctor would successfully identify. As a result, medical conditions progress to more advanced stages, which may require more advanced treatment and cause the patient tremendous pain and suffering, possibly even death.
A plaintiff with this type of claim would require expert testimony from a doctor to explain why a competent doctor would have correctly diagnosed the condition or diagnosed it sooner.
2. Surgery Errors
Many incidents of malpractice occur during common surgical procedures. Surgery errors are prevalent because of the delicate nature of the process. Outrageous situations, commonly referred to as never-events, can also occur, including leaving tools or instruments inside a patient or operating on the wrong body part.
Surgery errors end up accounting for roughly one-third of all medical malpractice claims. Infections and complications after surgery also can cause significant harm if they are not competently treated.
3. Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia is a vital part of surgery, which means that anesthesia mistakes can cause devastating consequences, including brain injuries and death.
Anesthesiologists must follow safety practices to prevent serious medical errors. These include; reviewing a patient’s records for possible risk factors, providing the patient with proper instructions before the procedure, administering the correct amounts of anesthesia, and monitoring the patient’s vital signs while administering anesthesia.
If the equipment used to administer anesthesia is defective, you can file a claim against the equipment manufacturer.
4. Medication Errors
Every year, an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States are affected by medication errors. A medication error occurs when a health care provider administers or prescribes a patient the wrong type of medication or an incorrect dosage of drugs. Prescription mistakes are sometimes connected to misdiagnosis since a doctor may prescribe medication for an incorrectly diagnosed condition.
There are several other ways health care providers may commit a medication error, for example, failing to ask the patient if he or she is currently on medication, prescribing the wrong dosage or type of drugs, neglecting to explain the dangers associated with a prescription or medicine, or administering the patient with a drug he or she may be allergic to.
5. Childbirth Injuries
Birth is a beautiful and sometimes complicated event, and doctors have to be careful not to harm the child during the birthing process. Many birth complications can be anticipated by a competent physician and should be addressed before the birth.
Failure to anticipate problems that an otherwise qualified physician should have addressed could spark a medical malpractice lawsuit. Inappropriate use of methods or tools can also cause permanent damage to the child.
If you get injured due to a health care provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Not all should be lost.