According to the available data, 195,000 patients die in hospitals annually due to preventable mistakes.
While the spectrum of medical malpractice varies, some common situations often fall under medical malpractice.
Failure to Diagnose
This form of medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to diagnose a condition that later results in serious harm to the patient.
When a patient experiences, for example, a cardiac event, a stroke, or even the first stages of cancer, immediate treatment is critical to a patient's chances for recovery. When a physician fails to diagnose a serious condition, it dramatically affects the outcome of the patient's prognosis.
When surgeons make avoidable errors that cause serious complications, the patient has to live with the aftermath of their doctor's mistakes.
Surgical errors can range from performing a surgical operation on the wrong patient to neglecting to care for the patient post-op.
While people have benefited from medicines for hundreds of years, prescribing the wrong kind of prescription or even the wrong doses can cause serious harm and irrevocable damage to a patient.
When we go to our medical and healthcare professionals for treatment, we walk into appointments with the expectation that our providers are competent healthcare workers who we can trust to prescribe the correct medication at the accurate dosage.
Failure to Inform
Most of us didn't go to medical school. Aside from what we've seen in medical dramas, most of us have no medical background. We rely on our physicians and medical professionals to communicate all the risks or complications associated with a medical procedure or treatment plan. That way, we can make informed decisions about our healthcare.
Your provider must obtain informed consent. They are responsible for obtaining consent by giving patients facts about the procedure's risks, benefits, and any alternatives a patient might look into if desired.
If a medical professional does not disclose all pros and cons of a procedure and possible alternatives, then they have not obtained informed consent from the patient. At that point, the patient's healthcare team may be liable in a medical malpractice suit if an injury or complication occurs.
Mistakes in Other Medical / Healthcare Professions
Physicians aren't the only healthcare professionals responsible for medical malpractice. People working as dentists or orthodontists aren't immune to error. For example, a dentist might fail to diagnose or misdiagnose the early stages of oral cancer. Or, if a procedure requires anesthesia, a mistake in administering the medication can cause severe complications for a patient.
Other medical and healthcare professionals can also be held accountable for negligence. In fact, a medical malpractice suit can name any licensed healthcare provider, including nurses, therapists, technicians, and pharmacists.
Other types of medical malpractice include (but are not limited to):
Failure to Treat Infections
Failure to Prevent Infections