Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional breaches their duty of care, resulting in injury or death. These mistakes could include surgical errors, misdiagnoses, or medication errors. Medical malpractice is far more common than most patients realize, and the outcome can be devastating when it happens to you or a loved one.
Of course, not every negative encounter with a medical professional constitutes medical malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Miami can help you determine whether you have a viable case. Here are some common situations that can constitute medical malpractice.
Imagine a scenario where you rush your loved one to the hospital due to worrying symptoms of fever, shortness of breath, and cough. Within minutes, the doctor quickly diagnoses them with pneumonia without conducting a thorough examination or performing standard testing. Two days later, your loved one is admitted to the ICU in critical condition. Further tests reveal that the correct diagnosis was a pulmonary embolism.
This scenario, and others like it, are common in medical malpractice cases. Understandably, a doctor may miss a diagnosis. However, it becomes medical malpractice if they are negligent or miss a diagnosis that any doctor with their level of training should have been able to diagnose.
2. Delayed Diagnosis
Delayed diagnosis differs from misdiagnosis because this type only applies when the doctor takes hours, days, or weeks to diagnose a condition. Sometimes, these delays can cause the disease to progress further, leading to more ill health. Delayed diagnosis cases can be challenging to prove. An attorney must demonstrate your condition would have been physically and financially better if the doctor had begun treatment sooner. Your attorney would also have to prove that the medical professional should have been able to arrive at the diagnosis sooner if they had adhered to a standard level of care.
3. Surgical Errors
Medical malpractice during a simple or complex surgical procedure can cause serious harm to a patient. Unless the surgical team provides exceptional medical care, the following errors could occur:
- Damaging internal organs.
- Operating on the wrong body part.
- Leaving something inside the patient’s body.
- Falling to use proper sanitation procedures.
4. Hospital Infection
Although the hospital is the safest place to be when you are seriously ill, it can also be the place where you contract a hospital-associated infection. For instance, you can get a hospital infection when healthcare providers ignore protocols such as wearing masks and hand washing. In addition, the failure of the hospital to ensure excellent sanitary conditions can lead to drug-resistant infections.
5. Medication Errors
Taking the wrong dose of a drug, the wrong drug, or not being given the proper medicine can cause you or your loved one harm. Medication errors can occur in the following ways:
- An error in how a nurse or doctor administers medicine.
- A mistake when writing the prescription.
- An error when pharmacists fill the prescription.
- Equipment malfunction that causes an error in drug administration.
6. Childbirth Injuries
Childbirth injuries occur during labor and immediately after delivery. Newborns need the utmost care, and if a midwife, doctor, or nurse is not careful, they can easily acquire life-altering injuries. Examples of possible errors that can occur include:
- Lack of or inadequate oxygen supply.
- Failure to identify and treat complications during pregnancy or delivery.
- Inappropriate use of birth tools.
- Failure to perform a cesarean section when standard conditions are present.
7. Anesthesia Errors
Going under anesthesia during procedures has its risks. But errors made from negligence during this process can lead to paralysis, brain damage, permanent injuries, or even death. Anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists can cause errors in the following ways:
- Using too much or too little anesthesia.
- Improper intubation.
- Equipment failure.
- Deficient monitoring of patient’s vital signs.
8. Cancer Misdiagnosis
A recent National Institute of Health study revealed that missed cancer diagnosis accounts for 46% of cases in primary care. This occurs more often with prostate, colorectal, breast, and lung cancer. 76% of these misdiagnoses were due to errors in clinical judgment. That is, the doctor delayed in requesting a diagnostic test (51%) or failed to consult or refer the patient in good time (37%).
9. Bed Sores
Bed sores occur when a medical provider leaves an immobile patient in the same position for too long. Any patient with bed sores indicates inadequate care or neglect. These cases are often seen in nursing homes and some hospitals. If medical care isn’t provided after they are discovered, bed sores can become infected and cause serious health complications.
10. Dental Mistakes
Dentists are not exempt from medical malpractice incidents. In fact, some dental errors can cause permanent nerve damage, leading to facial numbness or tingling. Other errors dentists and oral surgeons sometimes make include:
- Extracting the wrong tooth.
- Improper application of dental implants.
- Infection due to poor sterilization.
- Wrong treatment plan.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Miami
If you’ve been seriously injured or lost a loved one because of a medical provider’s negligence, you need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side.
Contact us at Aigen Law Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.