If a medical treatment provider causes a patient to suffer a disease or injury by his or her negligent actions or failures to act, that health care professional may be guilty of medical malpractice. Even if a patient already suffers from a disease or injury, the treatment provider may still face liability for malpractice if his or her actions or inactions increase a patient’s risk of harm or causes the condition to worsen.
Medical malpractice can occur in many different scenarios. Here are some of the more common medical mistakes:
- Failure to diagnose and properly treat medical emergencies. In emergency situations, prompt and correct treatment is essential.
- Failure to diagnose and properly treat serious medical conditions. Often symptoms are overlooked or a patient is taken for granted. Sometimes x-rays and other test results are misread.
- Surgical mistakes. A slip of a knife can cause severe problems. Sometimes medical instruments or sponges are left inside a patient after surgery by mistake.
- Errors with medication or treatment. A wrong prescription or treatment can cause serious injury or illness.
- Delays in diagnosis. Many times, diagnostic delay can have dire consequences, especially in the case of various types of cancer.
- Birth Injuries. Malpractice can often occur during labor. Complications arise that require immediate and proper reactions from doctors and nurses. Cerebral Palsy cases sometimes arise as a result of such medical mistakes.
- Failure to advise of diagnosis. A patient has the right to know the diagnosis so that he or she can properly assess treatment options.
- Lack of Informed Consent. A patient has the right to understand the risks associated with a particular type of treatment.
- Abandonment. A treatment provider cannot always simply stop treating a patient, especially in emergency situations.