It is important to understand that medical treatment that results in an adverse outcome is not necessarily the same thing as medical malpractice. Some diseases and conditions are just beyond a doctor’s ability to heal, and even if he or she did everything right and followed the standard of care perfectly, sometimes death or a worsened condition results. To win a medical malpractice suit, you have to be able to prove that a doctor or other healthcare professional made a mistake in treating you that resulted in harm, and that he or she should have known better.
Medical mistakes happen more often than most of us would probably like to believe. They often fall into one of four broad categories.
1. Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia is necessary for most surgical procedures, but it can be dangerous if you receive too much or have a history of negative reactions to it. You could have grounds for a medical malpractice suit if an anesthesiologist makes a mistake in administering anesthesia or sedation.
2. Childbirth Errors
Errors during childbirth can cause complications that can harm either the mother or the baby, or both. More malpractice lawsuits are filed against OB/GYN doctors than those in any other specialty.
3. Failure to Diagnose/Misdiagnosis
Failure to diagnose means that a condition is present that the doctor fails to find. Misdiagnosis occurs when the doctor recognizes that something is wrong but does not correctly identify it. The former situation can delay treatment and allow the condition to worsen, while the latter situation may result in unnecessary and inappropriate treatment.
4. Prescription Errors
Medication errors may be the fault of the drug manufacturer, pharmacist, or prescribing physician. There are numerous prescription errors that can occur, but a few examples include receiving the wrong medication altogether or receiving the right medication in the wrong dosage. Sometimes a doctor or pharmacist fails to properly explain to you the possible side effects of the medication, which can also be problematic.
5. Surgical Errors
Poor preoperative planning can lead to frightening surgical errors. These may include leaving sponges or other foreign objects inside the body, operating on the wrong side, or performing the wrong surgery altogether. These mistakes aren’t just stories of urban legends or TV plots; they actually happen and can cause significant suffering when they do.
It is all the more frustrating to know that the harm you have suffered due to medical malpractice could have been completely avoided. A medical malpractice lawyer, may be able to help you recover damages for your unnecessary pain.