Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured by a doctor or nurse (or other healthcare professional) who fails to provide proper medical care. Although medical errors thankfully don’t occur very often, there are certain types of errors that show up in malpractice cases more frequently than others.
But, remember, just because a doctor made a mistake or a patient was unhappy with the treatment or its outcome, doesn’t always mean that malpractice occurred. A medical provider must have been negligent in some way; the doctor was not reasonably skillful or competent and thus caused harm.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Probably the most common form of negligence in medical malpractice cases, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis causes harm because the patient might miss treatment opportunities that could have prevented serious conditions or even death. The key to proving liability in this instance is determining whether a different, skillful and competent doctor, with the same specialty, would have made the same mistake.
A physician or obstetrician’s negligence can occur during childbirth or even long before. Fetal injuries including: brain injuries like cerebral palsy and seizure disorders, broken bones, and Erb’s and Klumpke’s palsy are common in medical malpractice lawsuits. However, keep in mind that these injuries are more often caused by something other than medical malpractice.
Negligent Prenatal care is negligent medical treatment during the pregnancy such as:
- Failure to diagnose dangerous conditions of the mother, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or Rh incompatibility
- Failure to identify birth defects
- Failure to identify ectopic pregnancies
- Failure to diagnose the mother’s disease that could be contagious to the fetus
Negligence during childbirth can cause harm to the baby and the mother. Common medical errors include:
- Failure to prepare for a baby’s large size or the position of the umbilical cord
- Failure to respond to identified signs of fetal distress
- Failure to order a cesarean section when necessary
- Incompetent use of forceps or extractor
Sometimes the wrong drug administered to a patient or the drug isn’t right for the condition, though it does happen and can result in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the most common medication error occurs when a patient is give too little or too much of a medication. This can happen if the doctor writes the dosage incorrectly, if a nurse administers the wrong amount, or if the equipment measuring or administering the drug malfunctions.
Anesthesia errors can occur even before surgery and are usually more dangerous than surgery errors. Before anesthesia is even administered the doctor could fail to investigate the patient’s medical history for possible complications, or fail to inform the patient of the risks or preoperative instructions.
During surgery, the medical negligence could include:
- Giving too much anesthesia
- Failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs
- Using defective equipment
- Improperly inserting the breathing tube
Medical malpractice claims involving surgery could arise because the surgeon was negligent in their care, such as puncturing internal organs, operating on the wrong body part, or leaving instruments in the body, took improper care. The nursing staff could have been negligent in administering post-op care, possibly resulting in serious infections or other complications.
If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of a medical professional it is vitally important to seek the guidance and advice of a medical malpractice attorney. The medical malpractice attorneys in Daytona at Zimmet & Zimmet are among the highest-rated and recommended. Click here or call us today at (800) 934-1020 for a consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced Daytona medical malpractice attorney.