Medical malpractice may be more prevalent than you think. Since the turn of the millennium, over 95,000 medication errors have occurred, and roughly 99,000 people die each year from hospital-related infections. While medical malpractice can lead to injury, suffering, or even death, many medical malpractice cases are not pursued. It is thus important to be aware of the different types of medical malpractice so you can recognize if you’ve become a victim.
What Are Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice includes any type of negligence or improper care that a healthcare provider commits. These can include:
- Diagnostic errors: This includes diagnosing the wrong condition or failing to diagnose a condition, which leads to damages for the patient. For example, it may be medical malpractice if a healthcare provider fails to diagnose cancer. Because it is critical to diagnose cancer as early as possible, a failure to do so may lead to harm or death.
- Surgical errors: This involves failing to properly perform surgery. This encompasses a wide variety of errors, such as operating on the wrong body part or patient, unnecessarily damaging other internal organs, or leaving surgical tools in the patient’s body.
- Anesthesia errors: This describes failing to administer anesthesia properly, such as administering the wrong amount, neglecting to investigate a patient’s medical history before administering anesthesia, failing to inform the patient of pre-anesthesia procedure, neglecting to warn the patient of the dangers of not following proper procedure, using defective equipment, or performing improper intubation.
- Medication errors: Prescribing or dispensing the wrong medication or dosage. Both doctors and nurses may commit this type of malpractice.
- Childbirth errors: Causing harm to the mother or fetus due to improper care. This may include inadequate prenatal care.
One thing all medical malpractice cases have in common is that they have caused harm to the patient. An error that results in no harm is unlikely to be a proper basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Should You Do If You’re a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
In many states, you are legally required to make a reasonable effort to write to the offending healthcare provider to receive compensation from the healthcare provider’s insurance company before you may file a lawsuit. While you may attempt to do this yourself, a medical malpractice lawyer like one from Ward & Ward Law Firm may be able to help you through this initial process. If you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, consult a medical malpractice lawyer to examine your case and help you earn compensation.