What Is an Example of Medical Negligence?
People seek treatment from their healthcare providers with the hope that their conditions will improve. While the outcome of treatment cannot be guaranteed, there are certain situations in which a medical professional can negligently cause serious injuries or patient death. Medical malpractice is much more prevalent than many people realize. A study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins found that medical errors cause more than 250,000 preventable deaths in the U.S. each year, making it the third-leading cause of death. Additionally, many other patients suffer debilitating injuries because of medical negligence annually.
Medical malpractice can result in serious health consequences. Understanding some common examples of medical negligence might help you to determine whether you have grounds to file a medical negligence claim. The malpractice lawyers in Philadelphia at Raynes & Lawn can review what happened in your case and help you to understand what is medical malpractice negligence and whether you have a viable claim. While medical negligence can take many forms, here are a few examples of medical malpractice that commonly occur.
1. Birth Injury Malpractice Examples
Medical errors that occur during childbirth can result in lifelong injuries to the babies and serious injuries or death to both the infants and mothers. Expectant parents whose babies suffer birth injuries as a result of mistakes made by the doctor or labor and delivery staff members can face devastating emotional and financial consequences.
Some common examples of birth injuries that might indicate medical negligence include the following:
- Intrauterine fetal death
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brain damage
- Skull fractures
- Newborn cephalohematoma
- Newborn jaundice
- Spinal cord injuries
- Failure to diagnose preeclampsia
- Failure to diagnose maternal diabetes
- Failure to diagnose maternal infection
Failing to properly monitor and treat both the mother and infant and exerting too much force during birth can result in serious, lifelong injuries or death.
2. Examples of Surgical Errors
Surgical errors can result in some of the most egregious types of medical malpractice. While the outcome of surgery cannot be guaranteed, operating room errors can result in blatant examples of medical negligence. Surgical mistakes can occur when medical providers do any of the following things:
- Perform surgery on the wrong patient
- Perform surgery on the wrong body part
- Perform the wrong surgical procedure
- Administer too much or too little anesthesia
- Leave surgical instruments or sponges behind in a patient
- Failing to use sterile instruments
- Failing to monitor a patient in recovery
- Damaging organs, nerves, or tissues during surgery
- Failing to identify and stop internal bleeding
3. Examples of Diagnostic Errors
Many different types of diagnostic errors can occur and result in medical malpractice claims. Patients might be diagnosed with the wrong conditions and receive unnecessary treatment. Others might not be diagnosed when they have serious conditions, resulting in a worsening of their conditions because of delayed diagnoses. Some examples of diagnostic errors include the following:
- Failing to order appropriate diagnostic tests
- Failing to correctly interpret lab and imaging tests
- Failing to recognize common symptoms of serious cardiac events
- Failing to refer patients to specialists
4. Examples of Infections Acquired in the Hospital
In some cases, patients can suffer life-threatening hospital-acquired infections because of negligent sanitation procedures. Some examples of these types of infections that might indicate medical negligence include the following:
- Staph infections
5. Examples of Errors in the Emergency Department
Hospital emergency departments are often crowded and understaffed. The added pressures placed on medical staff members and doctors working in the emergency room can result in serious errors. Some of the types of errors that can happen in emergency departments include the following:
- Diagnostic errors
- Failing to provide proper follow-up recommendations
- Failing to review a patient’s medical history to check for allergies and drug interactions
- Discharging patients too early because of a lack of insurance
- Failing to refer a patient to a specialist
- Medication administration errors
6. Examples of Prescription Errors
Prescription errors can cause serious injuries or death. These types of errors can occur in the hospital, at a pharmacy, or in a doctor’s office and can be fatal. Prescription errors can be especially dangerous when a patient has a severe allergic reaction or a dangerous drug interaction with another medication the patient is taking.
Some examples of prescription errors include the following:
- Prescribing the wrong drug for the patient’s condition
- Prescribing a medication to which the patient is allergic
- Prescribing a medication that interacts with another medication the patient is taking
- Prescribing too high or too low of a dose of a medication
- Mislabeling medications
- Filling the wrong medication
- Administering a drug to the wrong patient
- Failing to warn patients about the risks of a medication
7. Examples of Informed Consent Negligence
Doctors must get patients’ informed consent before performing medical procedures in situations other than emergencies. If a doctor fails to secure a patient’s informed consent prior to a procedure, it can amount to medical malpractice and battery. Informed consent involves more than simply having a patient sign a form. A doctor must accurately explain the procedure, medication, and any associated risks.
Can I Sue for Malpractice and Negligence?
If you believe that your healthcare provider negligently caused your injuries, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer at Raynes & Lawn. We can review your case and explain whether you have a viable claim. Call us today at 1-800-535-1797 to schedule a free consultation.
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