If you have the perception that medical malpractice is an uncommon occurrence that only happens to a few unlucky people, then you need to look at the numbers more closely. One study of comprehensive medical errors estimated that around 250,000 people die each year in the United States due to malpractice. This means that 10 percent of all deaths are due to medical errors which rank medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Even though doctors and nurses always strive to provide the best care for their patients, mistakes can happen. Unfortunately, these mistakes can end up having life-altering consequences or may lead to death. Besides mistakes, even if you are not treated with the proper care, a medical professional can still be held liable for any hardships, injury or further complications you endure.
Here are the most common reasons people will file a medical malpractice claim.
Wrong diagnosis or failure to diagnose – There are over 11 million people each year who are misdiagnosed. These misdiagnoses mean that doctors are not able to begin a successful treatment plan or there is such a delay in finding the real problem that other complications set-in or significant damage has already been done. A misdiagnosis can also come from inaccurate diagnostic readings.
Child birth errors – OBGYN doctors receive about 20 percent of all medical malpractice suits that are filed which is the most of any other doctor. This may be because there are actually two patients instead of one that can be affected. Childbirth negligence will typically lead to spinal cord injuries, postpartum hemorrhaging, fetal distress and head injuries to the infant.
Prescription and dosage errors – When a patient is prescribed the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage, it can have profound distress on the body. Also, side effects from medications can cause lingering problems. Doctors, pharmacists and even the manufacturers of the drugs can be held responsible for problems associated with medications.
Errors during surgery – Many times errors during a surgery are the result of poor pre-surgery planning. This can cause making an incision on the wrong part of the body. Other times, doctors may leave surgical instruments in the body which can lead to infections or cause irreparable damage.
Anesthesia complications – Administering anesthesia can be very dangerous if not done properly. If the history of the patient is not taken into consideration or too much anesthesia is given, the results can be fatal. Anesthesia errors can happen before surgery, during surgery and even in a post-op recovery rooms.
If you believe that the actions of a medical professional has caused you to be injured or be subjected to prolonged health problems, you should contact an medical malpractice attorney who can assist you in reviewing your claim to determine if you should be compensated for your pain and suffering.