5 Common Types of Medical Malpractice5 Common Types of Medical Malpractice

5 Common Types of Medical Malpractice

If you’re facing a situation where there’s been a serious injury or death due to a medical error or oversight, it can leave you feeling frustrated, angry, and helpless. There is hope—you have options to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. But it can be difficult to know what qualifies as medical malpractice—it’s a broad term that has been sensationalized in popular culture—and if you have a case.

Here is a brief summary of some of the most common types of medical malpractice to help you understand how this civil claim is defined and plays out in the real world.

Medical Malpractice Definition

Medical malpractice is a civil claim that occurs when a healthcare professional or institution, through a negligent act or omission, deviates from the established standard of care to cause a patient injury or death. There are many types of medical malpractice that range from issues with a doctor’s actions or qualifications to a hospital’s safety procedures.

5 Common Types of Medical Malpractice

While there are wide-reaching applications of medical malpractice, here are some of the most frequently seen cases.

1. Lack of Qualification and Training

A lack of experience is often at the core of a bad outcome. When nurses and medical staff are not properly trained before rendering care, a patient’s health is put at risk. Many medical malpractice claims result from situations where untrained staff failed to recognize important signs and symptoms of illness, mishandled complications from an ongoing treatment, or didn’t report changes in a patient’s condition to a doctor or nursing supervisor.

2. Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose

If you or a loved one receives an incorrect diagnosis, or a medical professional fails to diagnose your condition at all, you can face lifelong negative consequences. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose is the most common form of medical malpractice. Both of these cases prevent you from getting the proper care you need and may cause your condition to worsen before it is treated.

3. Failure to Treat

Another regularly seen medical malpractice claim relates to a healthcare professional’s failure to treat a patient effectively. When a condition goes unaddressed, it will likely worsen and cause other health complications for the patient. This type of malpractice can take a variety of forms, from failure to treat an infection to failure to order necessary tests or provide specialist referrals.

4. Surgical Errors

Even when they aren’t immediately apparent, surgical errors can affect your everyday life and result in more medical procedures down the road. Examples include negligently injuring or damaging organs or other anatomical structures near the surgery site, operating on the wrong body part, or improperly administering anesthesia during surgery.

5. Medication Errors

Many malpractice claims involve errors when prescribing or administering medication. This includes when doctors prescribe the wrong drug or dosage, or fail to check if patients could have life-threatening reactions when mixing certain medications. It could even relate to when a pharmacist misreads a prescription and provides the wrong medication to the patient.

Wondering if you have a case?

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