Analysts believe more than one million medical injuries take place each year. With that being said, only around 85,000 malpractice cases were filed during the last year for which information has been made available. This number has been on the rise for quite some time. Personal Injury Attorneys see a wide range of cases in this category, each of which has its own set of deciding factors.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Malpractice comes in numerous forms. Each one revolves around medical professionals’ duty to properly care for patients. Negligence is the bottom line in most cases of this type, but that, too, takes many shapes.
Misdiagnoses or Missed Diagnoses. Misdiagnosis refers to diagnosing a patient with the wrong medical condition, an issue often leading to improper or potentially dangerous treatments. Someone experiencing appendicitis may be diagnosed with a simple stomach ulcer, or a pulmonary embolism may be dismissed as a standard asthma attack. In some instances, doctors fail to diagnose patients’ conditions altogether. In any case, the patient could experience significant injury or lose his or her life because of such a mistake.
Fatigue. Whether referring to diagnosis, surgery, or routine care, fatigue can lead medical personnel to make serious mistakes. This easily avoidable issue has been found to increase healthcare professionals’ margins of error by more than 300 percent, which can be detrimental or even deadly for patients.
Improper Dosage. In some situations, a few milligrams more or less of a medication than a patient actually needs is harmless. Still, those seemingly insignificant differences can be extremely dangerous with certain drugs. Administering too little of a medication may not effectively treat a patient whereas too much can cause serious health issues.
Botched Surgeries. Despite the numerous precautions and communication advancements in play these days, surgical mistakes continue to be common. Physicians continue to amputate the wrong limbs or remove the wrong lungs. Operating room mix-ups in which the wrong type of surgery is performed on a patient still occur.
Many believe medical mistakes are few and far between today, but they’re still more common than most people realize. Medical professionals are held to a specific duty of care, meaning they’re required to do everything in their power to properly care for a patient. If they fail to do so, they can be held accountable for the injuries patients receive as a result. Proving healthcare providers are responsible for patients’ injuries may not be easy, but it can be done with the right amount of legal knowledge and experience.