Medical errors or other forms of medical malpractice are one of the leading causes of death in the US. When a healthcare provider makes errors or is negligent in their duties, it can result in severe injuries to the patient. In extreme cases, it can even lead to death. According to a Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney, if you or a loved one suffered due to the error or negligence of a healthcare provider, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. The following are some examples of medical malpractice.
Anesthesia is used on patients who have to undergo surgical procedures. While anaesthesia is generally safe, if administered incorrectly, it can cause severe injury to the patient.
Anaesthesia errors can occur for various reasons, including the doctor’s failure to take a complete medical history of the patient, miscommunication among the medical staff, inadequate training of the anesthesiologist, and disregarding guidelines of the medical procedure.
Since administering anaesthesia is one of the critical parts of the surgical process, the surgeon typically does not administer it themselves; rather, they get a qualified anesthesiologist to do it to minimize any threats to the patient’s life.
However, some negligent medical providers can employ unqualified nurses instead of experienced anaesthesiologists to administer anaesthesia to save operation costs. This can lead to health complications for the patient. For example, an anaesthesia error can cause severe brain damage to the patient.
One most common types of medical malpractice are cases of medical misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis means a physician or healthcare provider’s failure to diagnose the patient’s condition correctly.
In a case of misdiagnosis, a patient was diagnosed with prostate cancer and agreed to get surgery to remove part of the prostate and surrounding lymph nodes to get rid of the tumour. Unfortunately, after the surgery, it was determined that the patient never had prostate cancer; instead, their reports had been mixed up with another patient.
Not only did the patient suffer severe complications like surgical wound drainage and swelling, but they also experienced impotence and mental health issues due to the misdiagnosis. As a result, the patient could sue the facility and healthcare provider responsible for the misdiagnosis. All healthcare providers have a duty of care toward their patients, and if they fail to fulfil this duty, they can be held liable for medical malpractice.
Delayed diagnosis is a form of misdiagnosis where the doctor fails to diagnose a condition early to provide the patient with the necessary treatment to prevent their condition from worsening. For example, a doctor that does not order the required tests, resulting in the delay of the diagnosis, could be held liable for medical malpractice.
In the US, at least 4000 surgical errors occur every year. Surgical errors can occur for various reasons, including the surgeon using unsanitized equipment, performing the procedure on the wrong body part, disregarding vital signs of the patient’s condition, leaving equipment inside the body, and damaging surrounding nerves during the surgery.
Surgical errors could lead to disfigurement, scarring, disability, amputation, infections, and even death. For example, in a case of surgical error, a patient went through surgery to get her ovaries removed, but the surgeon cut through her bowels during surgery, causing a severe infection that led to further health complications.
If a doctor makes a preventable mistake during prenatal care or childbirth, it could have life-altering consequences and count as medical malpractice. Misdiagnosing potential health complications of the mother and the child, failure to monitor the oxygen intake of the child, incorrect use of forceps, or surgical errors during a C-section. Birth injuries can result in cerebral palsy, brain damage, Erb’s palsy, wrongful death, nerve damage, and skull fracture to the baby.
Medication errors are another common type of medical malpractice, and approximately 1.5 million people suffer health complications due to prescription and medication errors every year. These errors can cause side effects and worsen an existing condition. Some common examples of prescription errors include writing an incorrect prescription, giving a high dose of medication to the patient, prescribing a medicine the patient is allergic to, and not prescribing the medication in the required amount of time.
In a case of a prescription error, a patient was diagnosed with inflammation of blood vessels and had to be given steroids and immunosuppressants. But, the doctor only prescribed her steroids, leading to severe problems requiring the amputation of her toes and fingers.
Robert Haynes, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.