When we go to the doctor’s office or to the hospital, we expect the medical practitioners there to provide a certain standard of care befitting their title and position.
When this does not happen, it may be considered medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice takes many different forms and can harm patients in a variety of ways. Below, our Memphis personal injury attorneys discuss some of the most common types of medical malpractice and what you can do if you have fallen victim to it.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other medical practitioner makes an error that another similarly qualified professional would not.
It’s a startlingly common phenomenon. In fact, a study conducted by the Journal of Patient Safety estimated that 400,000 Americans will die each year due to medical malpractice. This makes medical malpractice a leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Medical practitioners are required to uphold certain standards in an effort to prevent instances of medical malpractice. These standards relate to:
- Patient-physician relationships
- Consent and decision-making
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Reproductive medicine
- Organ procurement and transplantation
- Inter-professional relationships
- Financing and the delivery of healthcare
Straying outside of these guidelines constitutes a breach of the norms of practice and may be considered medical malpractice.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Stress, miscommunication, and more all contribute to errors in a medical setting. As such, patients across the country receive a variety of lifelong injuries from these errors, including the following:
Anesthesiologists must understand their patients inside and out, be aware of any drug allergies or interactions, and administer just the right amount of anesthesia before and during a surgical procedure.
Failure to do so can result in the following anesthesia errors:
- Anesthesia overdose
- Anesthesia underdose
- Delayed delivery of anesthesia
- Failure to monitor a patient during a procedure
- Failure to instruct patients on the side effects of anesthesia
When doctors do not respond to events in the delivery room appropriately, infants and mothers may be left with devastating birth injuries.
Common examples of medical malpractice in the delivery room include:
- Failure to monitor an infant for signs of distress
- Failure to order a C-section when necessary
- Improper use of birth-assistive tools
The tragic results of these inexcusable errors may include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Facial paralysis
During surgery, patients are in their most vulnerable state. As such, surgical errors can be particularly devastating.
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Amputating the wrong limb
- Leaving a medical tool in the patient
A delayed diagnosis can be catastrophic for patients with certain conditions, such as a traumatic brain injury or cancer.
Doctors are considered to be at the top of their field and, as such, are expected to make the correct diagnosis at an early stage to improve the patient’s prognosis.
When they miss warning signs of a disease that other healthcare providers would not, it may be considered medical malpractice.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you prove what’s known as the “four D’s of medical malpractice.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, the four D’s include:
- Duty: The doctor owed a certain standard of care to the patient.
- Dereliction: The doctor did not uphold this standard of care.
- Damages: The patient suffered an injury.
- Direct cause: The doctor’s failure to uphold the standard of care directly caused the patient’s injury.
Recovering Damages for Medical Malpractice
There is no doubt that medical errors can have devastating effects on patients’ health and independence.
Some of the catastrophic or fatal injuries that may result from medical malpractice include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Life-threatening infections
- Incorrect amputation
- Wrongful death
As such, medical malpractice victims and their families may be left with monumental costs in medical bills and lost wages.
Victims and their families should not have to foot this bill when a negligent healthcare provider and the hospital that employed them are responsible.
With the help of one of our Memphis personal injury attorneys, you may be able to recover compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Suffered from Medical Malpractice? Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love has suffered at the hands of a negligent medical provider, our team is here to help you seek justice.
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, we have the experience and resources needed to take on large hospitals and insurance companies. We’re passionate about protecting patients’ rights from these corporations, and we’re prepared to do the same for you.
Contact us today at (901) 466-2006 to schedule a free consultation with our team.