Many people think of surgical errors when they think of medical malpractice claims. However, that is not the only reason that patients file claims. Let’s review four common types of claims that are filed.
- Yes, surgical errors are the most common type of medical malpractice claim filed. The most common surgical mistakes include:
- Nerve damage – which can occur if the anesthesia is not administered correctly or if the surgeon makes a mistake.
- Damage to tissue or organs
- The use of contaminated surgical instruments – which can lead to disease.
- Operating on the wrong site – an example of this is amputating the wrong limb.
- Operating on the wrong patient – which is not very common but it does happen.
- Misdiagnosis is also a common issue cited in medical malpractice claims. Cancer and heart attacks are the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions. If there is a misdiagnosis and a patient’s symptoms gets worse the physician could face a claim. However, it is still true that the patient must prove that he/she suffered harm due to negligence of the doctor. The claimant must also prove that a relationship existed between the patient and doctor at the time the alleged error in diagnosis occurred.
- Alleged prescription drug mistakes are also a reason that patients file claims. Examples include:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong dosage
- Not warning the patient of side effects
- Not knowing other medications the patient is taking and prescribing a medication that negatively interacts with their current meds.
- Mislabeling medication
- Prescribing a medication that the patient is allergic to
Anyone involved with prescribing medications can be liable for prescription drug errors. This includes doctors, hospitals, nurses, and people working with the pharmacy or medication manufacturer.
- Failure to treat, which refers to instances when the patient is correctly diagnosed but the condition is allegedly not treated according to the required standard of care. Many of these cases are caused by hospitals being under-staffed and their doctors being overworked.
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