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If you are a victim of medical malpractice, determining what direction you should go in could be difficult, but you do not have to figure things out on your own. Improper, unskilled, or negligent treatment of a patient by a physician, nurse, hospital, dentist, pharmacist, or other health care provider is unacceptable and you are entitled to receive the compensation you deserve.
Improper. Unskilled. Negligent. These are all words associated with medical malpractice, the legal cause of action that occurs when a medical or health care professional deviates from standards in their profession, thereby causing injury to a patient. If you do not know what type of medical malpractice you have experienced, this blog will explain the different types of medical malpractice and will help you determine what direction you should go in if any of the forms of medical malpractice apply to you.
Raynes | Erickson are medical malpractice attorneys in the Inland Empire and we handle a variety of medical malpractice cases and want you to know that if you or a family member feel that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you need an experienced attorney with the financial resources, medical knowledge, and courtroom skills to obtain full and fair compensation.
Understanding how to handle a medical malpractice case is no easy task. There are important manners we encourage all individuals to take into consideration to have a successful case, if applicable, including selecting an appropriate medical malpractice attorney to represent you. First, though, let us consider the different types of medical malpractice so you can determine which type might apply to you.
Medical malpractice covers a variety of areas, yet all types of malpractice have one thing in common: the medical setting and environment.
From medical errors to sustained injuries in a medical setting, the top 13 forms of medical malpractice are listed below:
Are errors in the medical field where a surgeon and/or their medical team behaves negligently or irresponsibly which results in harm to the patient. Common surgical errors include wrong-site surgery (wrong body part), wrong surgical procedure, surgical instrument left in the body, wrong patient surgery, surgery unrelated to the patient’s diagnosis, the performance of unnecessary surgery, and other mistakes made before, during surgery, or postoperative.
Can occur during labor or delivery and can also prove fatal. Common causes include substandard or negligent prenatal care, improper use of a vacuum extractor or forceps during delivery, delayed or improper diagnosis of fetal distress due to negligent electronic fetal monitoring, delayed delivery or cesarean section, premature birth resulting from a urinary tract infection or other condition that could have been treated, failure to identify macrosomia (a condition in which the baby’s head and shoulders are too large to pass through the birth canal), Hypoxia or Anoxia (lack of oxygen), and other errors or acts of negligence by the obstetrical team or hospital.
Occurs when a nurse fails to competently perform his or her medical duties and that failure harms the patient. There are a variety of ways that a nurse can harm a patient — from administering the wrong drug to failing to notify a doctor when something is really wrong.
is unique in that the emergency room is an especially unpredictable section of a hospital in which doctors, nurses and other ER staff must respond immediately to a variety of serious situations. Due to the nature of emergency rooms with the high volume of clients, a broad range of injuries and other issues that need to be addressed, and the critical nature of ailments, emergency rooms are probable settings for medical errors. Common emergency room errors often result from an improper diagnosis of a condition and/or improper or inadequate treatment of a condition. This is especially prevalent with serious issues such as a stroke, heart attack, potential spinal cord injury, infection, and other grave or life-threatening injuries or diseases.
Is the result of the neglectful administration of the incorrect medication or wrong dosage. Once a doctor has prescribed the appropriate treatment for a disease, condition, or another ailment, it is the pharmacist’s responsibility to ensure the patient receives the correct medication in the precise dosage determined by the physician. It is also the responsibility of the pharmacist to communicate any pertinent instructions and warnings to the patient regarding the medication.
(TBIs) are often permanent, are always life-changing, and can affect the lives of both the injured victim and their families. These injuries, whether permanent or not, are often caused by a surgical error or birth injury, or by an accident such as an automobile or motorcycle collision, defective product, or other equipment failures.
Are similar to TBIs in that they are also often caused by the fault of others, whether by medical malpractice such as a surgical error or the hospital’s failure to effectively monitor spinal cord activity during surgery or by an accident such as an automobile or motorcycle collision, defective product, or other equipment failures.
Fall under a category of infections called acquired infections (also called nosocomial infections). These include all infections that develop over the course of a stay in a medical facility and that are not associated with the condition for which the patient was admitted or diagnosed. The sanitation procedures of a hospital and the hygienic practices of staff contribute to whether a patient will receive a hospital-acquired infection. Other factors that increase the likelihood of a patient developing an HAI include patient health, invasive procedures and devices, treatment, and sepsis.
A potentially fatal disease can devastate a patient and his/her chance of recovery. Regular check-ups and communication between the doctor and patient are extremely important for early detection of illness. However, in some situations, if a patient has maintained check-ups and has communicated any problems or unexplained issues to the doctor but the doctor still fails to quickly and effectively diagnose signs of a certain disease, this inaction may warrant a medical malpractice case. Additionally, there are many ways a doctor might fail his/her patient in diagnosis including attributing symptoms of one ailment to another disease or failing to test for a disease when obvious symptoms exist. When that behavior results in harm to a patient, it is classified as medical malpractice. Some examples of diagnostic mistakes that may qualify as medical malpractice include failing to order x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs, failing to identify an obvious lump during a breast exam, misdiagnosing a tumor as benign, misreading a test, failing to order a biopsy or future test, failing to observe obvious indicators of disease or disregarding the patients’ symptoms, and other actions that should have been taken to make a correct diagnosis.
Deal with bones and joints. Such errors include failure to diagnose fractures, negligent revision surgeries (hip/knee replacement) including issues with selecting the wrong prosthesis, cutting the bone at the wrong angle, and setting it improperly, negligent neck, back or spine surgeries, negligent hand or shoulder surgeries, failure to refer the patient to a more specialized surgeon, and improper or inadequate rehabilitative care.
An anesthesiologist is responsible for administering the anesthetic (a sedative) and monitoring the patient’s response. Depending on the procedure, the anesthesia will put the patient in a semi-conscious or unconscious state where he/she is unable to feel pain. Negligent actions include delaying anesthesia administration due to IV errors, vaporizer leakage or other unnoticed issues at the onset of surgery, wrong dosage of anesthesia, failure to properly administer oxygen during surgery or properly intubate, preventable allergic reactions, failure to properly monitor the patient, failure to recognize complications, and a failure to communicate thoroughly with patient.
Involves the medical treatment of children. Medication errors are sometimes made regarding a child, and the damage can be very extensive. This is because children have faster metabolisms than adults, which means even a small amount of the wrong drug can cause serious harm and even fatality. Additionally, children may not be able to communicate the type or severity of their negative reaction to a drug. Lastly, most drugs do not have dosing information for children, so pediatricians must take extreme care when prescribing a drug to a child that, in the wrong dosage, could be dangerous.
Or drug overdoses cause an estimated 7,000 deaths a year. In fact, medication errors account for approximately a quarter of medical malpractice cases, with failure to administer the proper dosage the most common medication error. Common medication errors include overdose, prescription of contraindicated drugs (dangerous drug combinations), allergic reaction to a drug, failure to monitor or manage dosage, and illegible handwriting can certainly be a factor in some medication errors.
When it comes to medical malpractice, you did nothing to get injured. Raynes | Erickson, Attorneys at Law is a team of experienced litigation attorneys and supportive staff who share the same vision to serve our clients and their families.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury as a result of one or more of these types of medical malpractice, reach out to the Raynes | Erickson office for a free, confidential conversation with a member of the firm to see if you have a case. The firm’s support staff members have been carefully selected for their work ethic and attention to detail and are essential to the success of our office.
The applicable statute of limitations is likely already running, and timing can be critically important to your case. Please call us today at (909) 793-6800 or contact us for a free, no-obligation, confidential legal consultation.