What Are 10 Common Errors that Can Lead to a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

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Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide reasonable care to a patient, and that failure causes injuries or harm. If you were a victim of medical malpractice, the experienced lawyers at The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. can help. We will carefully analyze your situation, help you determine whether you have a claim for a medical malpractice lawsuit, and fight to hold the bad actors accountable for the harm they caused. Medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United. States. Here, we identify ten common errors that lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

1. Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient with a condition different from what they actually have. Misdiagnosis can lead to costly and unnecessary care and can mean the patient’s actual medical condition remains untreated. Misdiagnosis can lead to additional pain and suffering, a decreased likelihood of survival, and complications caused by more time spent living with an untreated medical condition.

2. Missed Diagnosis

Missed diagnosis, also known as delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose, occurs when a doctor fails to recognize that a patient has a medical condition and fails to diagnose the patient with a disease. Missed diagnosis often occurs because a doctor failed to take a complete medical history. Misdiagnosis also happens when a doctor believes the patient’s complaints are all “in their head” or the patient is just seeking drugs, or because some medical professionals give more weight to complaints of men over women and whites over blacks.

3. Surgical Errors

Mistakes during surgery can have devastating consequences, including infection, complications, or death. Common surgical errors include:

  • Operating on the wrong body part;
  • Performing the wrong procedure;
  • Making an incision at an incorrect location;
  • Leaving a foreign object inside a patient; or
  • Operating on the wrong patient.

4. Prescription Errors

There are four primary kinds of prescription errors:

  • Improperly manufactured drugs;
  • Drugs that are improperly prescribed;
  • Prescriptions that are improperly filled; and
  • Failure to advise a patient about the long-term consequences of a prescription medication.

Different parties might be responsible depending on the nature of the harm caused and how the pharmaceutical malpractice occurred. An experienced pharmaceutical malpractice attorney can help you determine which type of malpractice occurred and hold the responsible parties accountable.

5. Anesthesia Errors

Many modern surgical procedures are performed under anesthesia. Using anesthesia during surgery is so common that few people fully consider the risks associated with anesthesia. But when an anesthesia error does occur, the results can be catastrophic.

To avoid anesthesia errors, an anesthesiologist must carefully and precisely administer anesthesia. During surgery, the anesthesiologist must carefully monitor the patient and respond appropriately to any changes in the patient’s condition. After surgery, the anesthesiologist should continue to monitor the patient’s breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, circulation, and oxygen levels as the anesthesia wears off.

6. Childbirth Errors

Medical errors during childbirth can harm both the mother and the infant. Infants who experience trauma during labor and delivery may suffer from:

  • Brain injury
  • Fetal Distress
  • Anoxic Encephalopathy or Anoxic Brain Injury
  • Anoxic brain death
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Stroke
  • Broken bones or fractured skull
  • Facial paralysis
  • Brachial plexus
  • Shoulder dystocia

Mothers can also suffer complications during childbirth, including injuries to the perineal area or pelvic floor, pre-eclampsia, infection, hemorrhage, blood clots (pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis), and sepsis.

7. Failure to Treat

Failure to treat can arise in several scenarios, including:

  • When a patient is in the emergency room but is not treated because of a lack of insurance;
  • A patient is sent home from the hospital when they should have been admitted for further testing or evaluation;
  • Stopping treatment without ordering the proper tests; or
  • Failing to refer a patient to an appropriate specialist.

8. Surgical Fires

Surgical fires should never happen. When a surgical fire does occur, it is almost surely the result of malpractice. A surgical fire can cause severe, debilitating, and permanent injuries that can result in serious post-surgical complications and even death. Common injuries after a surgical fire include loss of the ability to speak, inability to breathe, and an inability to participate in many activities a patient did before surgery.

Surgical fires are preventable, and surgical staff must understand how to reduce the likelihood of surgical fires.

9. Infection

Post-surgical infections are caused by bacteria in the surgical wound. Signs of an infection after surgery include fever, pain, swelling, and a pus-like discharge. A severe, untreated surgical infection can lead to sepsis and even death.

10. Falls

Falls after surgery are common and often result from understaffing, poor patient supervision, and other unsafe conditions. After surgery, hospitals should assess patients to determine their fall risk and implement appropriate protocols to reduce the likelihood of a fall injury. If the medical team fails to implement appropriate fall prevention protocols and a patient is injured, the surgical team could be liable for medical malpractice.

The Robenalt Law Firm Handles Medical Malpractice Cases Throughout Ohio

Medical malpractice can have severe, life-long consequences. If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice, act quickly. Call (216) 223-7535 or contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. today. Most medical malpractice lawsuit claims in Ohio are subject to a short one-year statute of limitations. If you do not file a lawsuit within that timeframe, you could be legally barred from seeking compensation for your injuries.