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9 Common Types of Medical Malpractice

9 Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can result in serious injuries, and obtaining a missed or wrong diagnosis is more common than people think. According to the John Hopkins Institute, medical errors are the third-leading cause of fatalities in the United States, with 100,000 to 200,000 deaths every year. Our NYC medical malpractice lawyer describes the nine most common types of medical negligence in the city.

Missed Diagnosis

Patients may visit an emergency department or see their doctor because they aren’t feeling well. It’s not uncommon for doctors to conduct an exam but report that there’s nothing wrong with them. Sometimes, they may state that the patient is suffering from something quite minor and temporary, such as the cold or flu. In these cases, a much more serious condition, such as heart disease, may not be diagnosed in an appropriate amount of time. In these situations, the patient may suffer the most severe types of injuries and even wrongful death.

Delayed Diagnosis

The opposite case is also true. Sometimes a doctor may accurately diagnose a patient, but the diagnosis is not in time.  Using the same example above, the patient may come back for a second or third time complaining of the same symptoms. This may prompt the doctor to perform additional tests and exams, which may result in the right diagnosis. However, that diagnosis may come too late and at a time when the patient has already suffered very serious injuries.

Wrong Diagnosis

In the worst case, a doctor may diagnose a patient with the wrong condition or disease. A wrong diagnosis will also result in serious harm because the patient will not receive the care they need for the condition they are suffering from. They may also be prescribed inappropriate medication, and those drugs may even interfere with the condition the patient is suffering from. Determining that a wrong diagnosis is medical malpractice is not easy because doctors often use a trial and error process when diagnosing patients. Determining if a doctor is liable for malpractice requires examining whether another doctor in the same position would have acted in the same manner.

Failure to Treat

Even when doctors have provided the right diagnosis within an appropriate amount of time, medical malpractice can still occur. Doctors are not only required to be able to identify conditions and diseases, but also know how to treat them, even if it means sending the patient to a specialist. If a doctor properly diagnoses a condition but then does not provide the appropriate treatment available, that is also a case of medical malpractice.

Medication Errors

Patients rely on medication to relieve their pain and treat their condition. They also trust that when a doctor prescribes a medication, it will be the correct one. Unfortunately, medical errors are common. A doctor may prescribe the wrong type or dosage of medicine, or a nurse or other healthcare worker may not properly administer a medication. Pharmacists can also be held liable for medication errors if they do not properly label the medication or give medication to the wrong patient.

Surgical Mistakes

Surgeons work long hours and sometimes they must operate for over 24 hours or more. Still, exhaustion and busy schedules are no excuse for medical negligence in the operating room. Some of the most common surgical errors that form the basis of medical malpractice claims include leaving surgical tools inside of the patient, operating on the wrong site, failing to monitor the patient after the operation, and not conducting a risk assessment before the surgery.

Anesthesia Mistakes

Anesthesia is necessary for surgery, but it also poses certain risks. If anesthesia is not properly administered, it can result in a patient waking up during the surgery, or not waking up at all. Even when patients do survive an anesthesia error, they can sustain permanent brain damage if they were given the wrong medication or an incorrect dose. Anesthesiologists must properly take a patient’s history, and monitor them during and after the operation to ensure the medicine was administered properly.

Birth Injuries

A negligent act that results in a birth injury is devastating to families, at a time when they should be rejoicing and celebrating the new addition to the family. Not every injury that occurs during birth is medical malpractice, but it is important to speak to a lawyer that can determine if you are a victim of medical malpractice. The doctor may have used medial tools incorrectly, pulled too hard on the infant, failed to perform a C-section in time, or otherwise caused a birth injury or defect.

Hospital-Acquired Infections

It is critical that hospitals and other medical centers are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to ensure that infections do not spread throughout the facility. If viruses and bacteria are allowed to spread, they can spread to other patients and cause significant harm. Not only should the hospital staff thoroughly clean the facility, but doctors are also required to be able to spot the signs of infection early so they can treat it. When hospitals and doctors fail to meet their duty, they can be held liable for medical malpractice.

Our Medical Malpractice Lawyer in New York City Can Help with Your Claim

Doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have the lives of patients in their hands. When they fail to take reasonable care and provide the appropriate and necessary treatment, our New York City medical malpractice lawyer at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. are here to help. We know how to go up against major medical facilities, and the insurance companies that represent them, to help you secure the full settlement you deserve. Call us today at 1-877-ASK4SAM or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.