The saying goes “to err is human, to forgive divine”, but not many would fully agree if faced with this situation in a medical situation. While people are aware that no human is perfect, medical professionals are often considered to be among the few that do not make too many mistakes. In fact, their erring should be on the minimal side as their primary function is to care for their patients’ health.
Now we come to the forgiving aspect with forgiving being divine. An individual may forgive a partner from making a mistake when cooking dinner; however, forgiving a doctor for making a medical mistake is not possible. In fact, making a medical mistake can have disastrous results and can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. This article will discuss the top five most common types of medical malpractice cases.
1. Errors With Diagnosis
One of the most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits is the issue of diagnosis errors. This can take shape in one of two forms: a failure to diagnose and a misdiagnosis. The failed diagnosis claims are typically made when a medical professional makes a late diagnosis on a serious medical condition, the most common being cancer. In the case of cancer patients, a failed diagnosis can have disastrous effects as treatment that may have been life-saving will not be made available until it is too late. This can result in increased suffering by the patient and their family.
Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional offers a diagnosis that is contrary to the presenting condition. The misdiagnosis can be detrimental to a patient’s health as the patient will not receive the appropriate treatment for their condition. In the case of an individual who has Diabetes II but was misdiagnosed, there is a chance that they will not be provided with the necessary insulin and may have seizures. The individual who is misdiagnosed with Diabetes II will be treated with insulin and may have side-effects.
2. Errors With Medication
Unfortunately, errors with medication are a common medical occurrence and can result in medical malpractice claims. Medication errors can occur in several ways including incorrect administration of the drug, mistake regarding the prescription, or failure to note any hazardous drug interaction. Medical professionals are trained to ensure medicine is administered correctly, and doctors are aware of the interaction between drugs; however, mistakes do happen.
Hospital settings are particularly susceptible to medication administration and dispensary errors due to the vast amount of patients being seen. Of course, this does not excuse the professional duty to patients; however, it does illustrate the reasons why mistakes could happen.
3. Childbirth Injuries
Various injuries are noted as common medical malpractice cases including the potential negligence caused to a child during the birthing procedure. Childbirth injuries are often very severe due to the delicacy of the procedure and the infant itself; for example, fractured bones in an infant can have more severe consequences than a fractured bone in an adult or teenager. While the majority of injuries are caused naturally or already present, such as seizure disorders or paralysis, the doctor may show negligence if he or she fails to treat the condition. In fact, the treatment of one condition may prevent any more severe conditions from occurring; for example, a seizure disorder may cause the baby to seize and lead to paralysis.
4. Errors Using Anesthesia
While mistakes using anesthesia are infrequent, there are cases of this type of negligence; furthermore, this error is far more detrimental than even surgical malpractice. This is due to the fact that the slightest error in anesthesia administration can have dire consequences, such as permanent damage or death.
5. The Wrong Patient
Contrary to popular belief, medical practitioners do perform surgical procedures on the incorrect patient. This does not happen frequently; however, cases have been noted where an individual has undergone limb amputation when they were not scheduled for that form of operation. This is typically the result of poor staff communication and can have dire consequences for the patient.