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7 Types of Medical Malpractice to Be Aware Of


Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can impact any patient. It's important to understand the common forms of malpractice so that you can take the necessary steps if you experience this form of malpractice. In this blog post, we will review the seven common forms of medical negligence to be aware of. Keep reading to learn more.

Medical Malpractice Statistics

Medical malpractice occurs when a physician deviates from established standards of practice, resulting in harm to the patient.

Key medical malpractice statistics include:

  • During their careers, one in three providers are sued for medical malpractice
  • Surgeons are most likely to be sued for malpractice
  • Each year, medical errors cause 251, 000 fatalities
  • In the U.S., medical malpractice is the third most common cause of death

Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

1. Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnoses are a frustrating and all too common occurrence in the medical world. These mistakes happen when a doctor fails to identify a correct diagnosis for a patient, providing either the wrong diagnosis or, in some cases, no diagnosis at all.

Unfortunately, these errors can lead to more serious health complications down the line if left untreated. According to USA TODAY, medical providers misdiagnose diseases in about 11% of cases. Furthermore, the most commonly misdiagnosed condition are strokes. The condition was missed almost 18% of the time.

2. Delayed Diagnosis

A delayed diagnosis can have detrimental effects on a patient's health. If a doctor takes too long to determine the underlying problem, conditions may worsen and lead to serious consequences. In some cases, doctors may make an incorrect diagnosis, which can further delay treatment and contribute to the progression of the condition.

3. Failure to Treat

Failure to treat is a serious issue that arises when the diagnoses of patients are not followed through appropriately. This can happen in various ways, such as discharging the patient too soon or not providing proper follow-up care. As a result, this could cause the patient’s condition to worsen.

4. Birth Injuries

Birth injuries, caused by medical negligence during labor and delivery can result in the death of either the mother or the baby. These types of injuries can happen when doctors or other medical staff fail to use medical equipment properly, do not treat maternal infections during pregnancy, and many other scenarios.

5. Prescription Drug Errors

Prescription drug errors can have serious consequences for patients. While misdiagnosis can sometimes be a factor, it's not the only cause. A prescription may be ordered improperly or filled incorrectly, leading to the patient taking the wrong medication. Unfortunately, the consequences can be severe, as medication errors can lead to adverse side effects, particularly if they interact with other medications the patient is taking.

6. Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are another type of medical malpractice that patients can experience. These are errors that happen during surgery that should not have occurred.

Surgical error examples include:

  • Performing the wrong procedure
  • Avoidable damage to organs
  • Unsterilized surgical instruments
  • Medical equipment left inside patient

Surgical errors can have a significant negative impact on a patient’s life. Furthermore, they can cause permanent injuries.

7. Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia serves as a crucial component in any type of surgery. When administered correctly, patients can avoid pain throughout their procedure. However, mistakes made by an anesthesiologist, such as administering the incorrect amount of anesthesia, can have serious and lasting consequences.

In some cases, patients may endure extreme pain or suffering as a result of poor anesthesia management. Brain injuries can also occur, particularly if a patient's oxygen levels drop too low during surgery. In the worst-case scenario, mistakes during anesthesia can even result in fatalities.

Get in Touch with Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, don't suffer in silence. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that medical negligence can have on not only the patient but their family as well. Our team can thoroughly evaluate your case and develop a strategic approach to pursue justice on your behalf.

Contact our team to schedule a consultation. Dial (843) 968-0886 or send us a message online.