People go to hospitals and clinics to have their ailments and medical conditions checked and remedied. We hold high regard for doctors and we are always hoping that we feel better every time we leave the hospital.
The last thing we would ever want to know is that something went wrong during the treatment, surgery, diagnosis or prescription. Risks and complications are bound to happen even in places where we expect the highest standard of healthcare should be.
Even the best medical practitioners cannot predict how the course of the treatments will turn out due to the unpredictability of the human immune system, anatomical dynamics and even the behavior of pathogens and diseases. However, if human error or negligence caused these complications, or if the quality of medical provided is below the universal standard of care, these can be considered as medical malpractices.
But what are the common examples of medical malpractice?
Doctors and medical professionals have a golden standard to follow when it comes to patient care, examination, and treatment. Failure to do so, whether intentionally or unintentionally can be considered negligence. This can be a tricky case to establish, but a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you find evidence that the reason for yours or your loved one’s injury is caused by the doctor’s negligence. He or she should be able to establish the case from the elements of negligence: duty, breach, injury, and damages.
This is one of the most common types of medical malpractice cases that patients encounter. It still falls under the category of medical malpractice because the doctor has failed to meet the standard of care or practice of thoroughly studying the patient’s medical history, records, laboratory tests, and symptoms.
There are certain diseases and conditions that have the same symptoms as another disease or condition, which is why the doctor should take extra care and due diligence in performing a diagnosis. The most commonly misdiagnosed conditions include Lyme disease, heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
There is a thin line that separates this type of malpractice from misdiagnosis, but these two can often go hand in hand. The doctor may diagnose a patient with a less severe condition or probably dismiss the symptoms as just fatigue until the patient comes back to the doctor and presents more severe symptoms or a chronic condition. Such cases could have been prevented if the doctor performs a thorough examination to determine the true underlying cause of the disease.
Your lawyer may request the assistance and testimony of another medical professional who has the same qualifications and training as the defendant to establish that there has been a case of delayed diagnosis which led to the complainant’s exacerbated medical condition.
This is perhaps one of the most alarming types of medical malpractice. Years of intensive medical training and experience should make a surgeon gain sufficient skill and competence to handle different types of surgical procedures. It should be also noted that there may be certain risks and complications associated with any surgery.
However, there can be instances when something goes wrong during the procedure that could have been prevented when due diligence was practiced by the surgeon. Some of these errors include the following:
- Performing surgery on the wrong body part or patient
- Infection from using non-sterile surgical instruments
- Leaving foreign objects inside the patient’s body
- Damage to nerves and surrounding tissues
- Improperly carried out procedures leading to long-term damage and serious harm to the patient
The list can go on, but these are the common instances associated with errors during surgery. If the damage or injury caused by surgery error is significant, your lawyer can help you pursue a case or compensation claim.
The scope of medical malpractice is wide. There are many other examples and instances of medical malpractice we can point out, but what we have discussed here are the most common ones. Our doctors and health professionals have the duty to give the utmost care and attention to their patients.
When they break certain protocols, procedures, and standards, the patients suffer the brunt of these malpractices. Thus, patients should be armed with knowledge and the right legal assistance in cases where they believe there is medical malpractice done to them or their loved ones.