Medical professionals go through years of education and training so they can care for others. At the core, however, these superhumans are just that: human. This factor can sometimes come into play when it comes to making mistakes. Even with a plethora of checks and balances, medical professionals can still commit errors. There are, however, some instances where these missteps may qualify as medical malpractice. When someone in the medical field goes against or ignores the standard of care, and their actions result in an injury to a patient, it is considered negligent. In the medical malpractice field, the following three scenarios are the most common.
1. A Doctor Fails To Diagnose or Is Wrong
People visit doctors seeking answers to what ails them. They may present with very few symptoms, or they may seem to have every symptom under the sun. The steps the doctor takes next are crucial. Some may want to do blood work or order additional testing. Others may prescribe generic medication and ask for a follow-up visit to evaluate. What happens, though, when a doctor doesn’t render a diagnosis? In some instances, this “watch and see” attitude is warranted. However, there are other times when it can turn out badly for the patient. A failure to diagnose or giving the wrong diagnosis can result in catastrophic consequences.
2. A Nurse Administers the Wrong Medication
Hospital and clinic charts are thorough. Procedures are put in place to help keep patients safe. Sometimes, however, mistakes occur, especially in dispensing medication. Some people have allergies to medicines and may have a deadly reaction if they receive the wrong dose or drug. In some instances, the mistake is due to a misread chart. Other times, the charting process was not followed correctly, and thus, a note was never made. It is this last error that may rise to malpractice.
3. The Surgeon Operates on the Wrong Body Part
Horror stories abound regarding patients waking up with the wrong limb amputated or surgeons leaving medical equipment inside body cavities. While these mistakes seem outrageous, they do still happen. Doctors can operate on the wrong area of the body if the chart and the patient are not appropriately marked. There are times that during surgical prep, the team responsible for getting the patient ready may incorrectly mark the area that is to be surgically repaired. When these instances occur along with evidence of negligent behavior, they may wind up costing the hospital and doctor dearly.
Medical malpractice is tricky, especially if you don’t understand what qualifies under the state statutes. You should seek out the help of a medical malpractice attorney to assist you with a suit.