Medical malpractice is a serious issue in the United States. Every year, thousands of people die as a result of negligence or incompetence on the part of their doctors or other medical professionals. Our Kentucky medical malpractice team highlights the five common types of medical malpractice. We will also discuss how often these incidents occur and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
What the Statistics Say
A recent Johns Hopkins study claims that more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from medical errors. Other reports claim the numbers may be as high as 440,000. These numbers are shocking.
5 Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Below we will take a look at the five most common types of medical malpractice claims.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
One of the most common types of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. An article in Modern Healthcare reported that one-third of malpractice claims from 2013 to 2017 were related to missed or delayed diagnoses. This can happen when a doctor fails to properly diagnose a condition, such as cancer, heart disease, or stroke. It can also occur when a doctor delays ordering a patient's necessary tests or referrals.
Failure to Treat
In the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, failure to treat is considered a violation of the standards of care that medical caregivers accept when treating patients. This negligence is a frequent cause of malpractice claims.
Failure to treat can take the form of:
- Failing to provide instructions for follow-up care.
- Releasing a patient too early from the hospital.
- Failing to order appropriate medical tests.
- Failure to consider a patient's medical history when prescribing medicine or treatment.
A doctor can fail to treat because they are overburdened with patients. To provide treatment, the professional must dig into their resources and refer the patient to another caregiver.
Birth injuries are another type of medical malpractice that occurs far too often. These injuries can happen when a doctor fails to monitor the mother and child during labor and delivery properly. They can also happen when a doctor uses excessive force during the delivery. Injuries that can occur during birth include:
- Cerebral palsy.
- Erb's palsy.
- Shoulder dystocia.
These injuries can have a devastating effect on the child and the family. In some cases, the child may require lifelong care.
Anesthesia errors are another type of medical malpractice that can have devastating consequences. These errors can occur when the anesthesia is not administered correctly or when the wrong kind of anesthesia is used.
Prescription Drug Errors
One type of medication error is a prescription drug error. When a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or dose, this can occur. Specific types of prescription drug errors include:
- Incorrectly prescribing a medicine.
- Prescribing an incorrect dosage.
- Failing to recognize signs of addiction, abuse, or overdose can increase health risks.
- Failing to identify potentially dangerous drug interactions or allergic reactions.
The wrong medicine can sometimes be given to a hospitalized patient. An incorrectly filled prescription might be liable for causing harm to a patient if the pharmacist was negligent.
What a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Do for You
Suffering medical malpractice can affect not only your physical health but also your mental health. You do not have to go at it alone. You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has been injured by medical malpractice. Our experienced medical malpractice team at Charles W. Miller & Associates can help you investigate your claim and file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Contact us today for a free consultation.