As a patient, you should be able to trust your doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. It may be difficult to believe, but medical errors are one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical mistakes, making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
Other studies report much higher figures, claiming the number of deaths from medical error to be as high as 440,000. The reason for the discrepancy is that physicians, funeral directors, coroners and medical examiners rarely note on death certificates the human errors and system failures involved.
Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals fail to provide a standard level of care, resulting in harm to patients. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most prevalent types of medical malpractice cases that patients may encounter. Understanding these common scenarios can help you recognize and respond to potential malpractice situations.
1. Surgical Errors: Surgical procedures are complex, and errors can have severe consequences. Common surgical errors include:
- Wrong-site surgery: Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body.
- Anesthesia errors: Administering incorrect dosages or failing to monitor the patient's vital signs.
- Post-operative complications: Inadequate post-operative care leading to infections, bleeding, or organ damage.
- Misdiagnosis: Diagnosing a patient with the wrong condition, potentially subjecting them to unnecessary treatments.
- Delayed diagnosis: Failing to diagnose a condition promptly, allowing it to progress to a more advanced stage.
3. Medication Errors: Mistakes involving medications can result in serious harm. Common medication errors consist of:
- Incorrect dosages: Administering too much or too little of a medication.
- Drug interactions: Failing to recognize potential interactions between prescribed drugs.
4. Birth Injuries: Birth injuries can lead to lifelong complications. Common birth-related medical malpractice cases include:
- Cerebral palsy: Often caused by oxygen deprivation during childbirth.
- Erb's palsy: Nerve damage during delivery, leading to arm weakness.
- Brachial plexus injuries: Nerve damage that can affect arm and hand movement.
5. Infections and Hospital-Acquired Conditions: Healthcare-associated infections and complications during hospital stays are common and can include:
- Surgical site infections: Infections developing at the surgical site.
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia: Respiratory infections contracted during hospitalization.
6. Anesthesia Errors: Errors during anesthesia administration can result in life-threatening situations, including:
- Overdosing or underdosing: Administering incorrect amounts of anesthesia.
- Failure to monitor: Inadequate monitoring of a patient's vital signs during surgery.
7. Failure to Obtain Informed Consent: Obtaining informed consent is a crucial step before any medical procedure. Failures in this regard can result in medical malpractice claims.
By recognizing these common types of medical malpractice, you can better protect your rights and ensure that healthcare providers are held accountable for their actions. Remember that every case is unique, and consulting a legal professional is essential to address your specific situation. Your health and well-being deserve nothing less.
Medical malpractice cases can be life-altering, and understanding the most common types is essential for patients and their families. If you or a loved one have experienced any of these situations, it is vital to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. They can help you navigate the legal process and seek compensation for the harm you've suffered.
If you would like to speak with one of our South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys, contact us today for a free consultation.
We serve the entire state of South Carolina, but routinely handle cases in Andrews, Beaufort, Conway, Charleston, Georgetown, Goose Creek, Hanahan, James Island, Johns Island, Kingstree, Ladson, Moncks Corner, Mount Pleasant, Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach, North Charleston, North Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Summerville, Surfside Beach, and Walterboro.