Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to use the appropriate standard of care while attending to their patients. Lawyers who handle cases against doctors or healthcare institutions are referred to as medical practice lawyers. It is worth mentioning that a doctor making a mistake does not mean they are committing medical malpractice.
Sometimes, it is possible to mistake a problematic outcome for negligence. To that end, determining whether a case involving a clinical error is a form of malpractice can be challenging. A medical malpractice lawyer comes into play to determine whether negligence played a role in your injury or that of a loved one.
Below are some of the cases that medical practice lawyers handle:
Misdiagnosing patients by healthcare providers is a serious error that usually leads to severe injuries and death. Sometimes, healthcare providers misdiagnose patients out of sheer misunderstanding based on gender, race, or inadequate medical expertise. One of the significant misdiagnoses that have hit news outlets lately is the misdiagnosis of heart attacks among women.
The symptoms of a heart attack in women differ from those of men. Physicians often fail to recognize that a female patient suffers from a heart attack. Essentially, inexperienced doctors misdiagnose women with indigestion or menstrual cramps instead of addressing the heart attack issue.
In such a scenario, it may be prudent to seek the services of a medical malpractice lawyer immediately.
● Surgical Errors
The central role of a surgeon is to act as the director of an operating theater. As you may know, surgery is performed to treat and diagnose numerous medical issues that range from cardiothoracic to general surgical problems. So a surgeon should be adept at performing surgical procedures professionally.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case with all surgeries. Sometimes, there may be negligence on the part of the surgeon, like leaving a piece of operating equipment inside the patient’s body, operating on the wrong body part, and damaging an internal organ. In truth, such mistakes warrant the immediate actions of a medical malpractice lawyer, and it would be imperative to undertake a medical malpractice cause of action against the surgeon or the healthcare facility.
● Prescription And Medication Errors
Recent studies show that medication errors are known to cause one fatality daily and injure 1.3 million patients annually in the US alone. Essentially, every patient who is ill expects medication to solve their problems and not the other way around.
As stated above, a wrong prescription can worsen the patient’s condition and lead to severe injury. The most common reasons for medical malpractice include the following:
- Wrong dosage
- Failure to take notice of an unhelpful drug interaction
- Inappropriate drug administration
- Mistakes in the initial prescription
The above causes of medical errors can occur at any point in the treatment process. It is also worth noting that doctors are not usually the ones to carry all the blame, but there may be some negligence by manufacturers or pharmacists.
● Pediatric Malpractice
Adults and children often present different symptoms when sick. Children’s bodies are smaller and in the development stage, hence more fragile than adults. Some pediatric medical malpractice claims involve meningitis, viral infections, and appendicitis.
Delays in treating a child can often deteriorate their health, leading to irreversible damage. Therefore a healthcare provider should thoroughly understand what to look for in a minor. Failure to which a malpractice cause of action can be pursued in cases of diagnostic errors while treating infectious diseases among children.
● Emergency Department Mistakes
By all means, the errors that occur in most emergency rooms are preventable. However, most emergency departments’ confusion and chaotic atmosphere are usually unwelcome. Things can quickly get out of hand because of understaffing.
Sometimes, a patient may be passed from one healthcare professional to another during a shift. Some emergency departments are also marked by ineffective communication between staff members or medical professionals leading to overwhelming mistakes. However, not all emergency room mistakes amount to medical malpractice.
More often than not, one has to prove that the healthcare provider’s treatment fell short of expected medical standards. For a malpractice claim to be effective, you will need to verify the following:
- The negligence of the physician resulted in severe injuries
- You suffered actual damages as a result of the doctor’s negligence
- As compared to other healthcare providers in the area, the doctor did not provide standard care
- There was a doctor-patient relationship
● Defective Medical Devices
Some examples of defective medical devices include faulty surgical tools, pacemakers, prosthetics, and implants. A patient may die if a surgeon uses a faulty medical device to perform surgery. As a result, this can cause a product liability claim.
Even though the FDA monitors and regulates medical devices, some dangerous devices are still on the market. Some of these devices may need to be fixed from their design to the manufacturing stage. If you suspect your loved one has been injured by a defective device while seeking treatment, you must consult a medical malpractice lawyer for help.
Germs and bacteria are prone to thrive in warm temperatures and protein-rich environments that are slightly acidic. So hospitals are good places for bacteria and germs to thrive due to their warm conditions, open wounds, and patients lacking robust immune systems to fight them. It is for this reason that hospitals should be sanitized at all times.
Patients become infected when hospitals fail to take the necessary precautions to prevent infection. As a result, the concerned healthcare facility should be liable, and you can determine this by seeking advice from a medical practice lawyer.
Below are other examples of infectious negligence:
- Delays in treating an infection
- Administering the wrong prescription to an infected patient
- When treatment for an infection is inadequate
- Reusing infectious medical devices
- Failure to dispose of soiled dressing appropriately
- The healthcare facility failed to clean its facilities and surfaces
Contact The Services Of A Professional Medical Practice Lawyer
The cases mentioned above represent some of the most common ones, but there are numerous other cases that a medical malpractice lawyer can handle. If you have been injured and suffered damages due to medical error, it is imperative to seek the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. This is to determine whether you have a valid claim and whether your case is worth pursuing.