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3 of the most common forms of medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

People can develop unexpected injuries and health challenges due to the misconduct of others. Sometimes, the very professionals people trust the most in an emergency are to blame for the health challenges that affect their daily lives. Medical malpractice is a major issue in the United States. Every year, thousands of people experience life-altering consequences and potentially even die because of the professional failings of healthcare workers.

Physicians who fail in their responsibilities to patients might face accusations of medical malpractice. Malpractice involves a failure to meet current professional standards and causing harm as a result. The following are some of the most common types of malpractice reported in the United States.

Diagnostic errors

A doctor must diagnose someone for them to receive the right treatment. Unfortunately, physicians may not spend enough time trying to make sense of someone’s symptoms. Some doctors fail to diagnose patients, meaning they do not discover the underlying cause of their symptoms. Other diagnostic errors involved misdiagnosis or reaching the wrong conclusion. Patients who don’t receive the right diagnosis might not receive the treatment they require or could undergo unnecessary treatment.

Medication errors

Physicians can make medication errors by prescribing a drug to a patient with a known contraindication, like an allergy to a certain type of medication. Other times, errors could come from nurses dispensing medications in hospital wards or setting up intravenous (IV) drug delivery. Pharmacists and technicians can also make major errors when dispensing or compounding drugs. Medication errors can lead to interactions, overdoses or unsuccessful medical treatment.

Surgical errors

There are hundreds of thousands of surgeries performed across the United States every month, and a small percentage of them involve significant errors. Doctors operate on the wrong body part, perform the wrong procedure or leave items behind after closing up someone’s incision. Each of these errors could have catastrophic consequences for the patient involved. Surgical errors can leave someone unable to undergo appropriate treatment or may require secondary surgeries to correct the issue during the initial operation.

Birth injuries are somewhat less common, but can be among the most expensive medical errors possible because they may forever change a child’s future. Negligence is also an issue in many busy medical settings.

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be an appropriate reaction to a medical mistake that has resulted in serious consequences for a patient. Those who understand how common malpractice is may find it easier to advocate for themselves after issues arise with their health care.