You expect the best from doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel when you or a loved one needs help. While the majority of doctors and nurses do their best to provide quality care to their patients, mistakes and sometimes serious errors still occur. In the worst cases, these errors lead to life-changing consequences and even death.
While the truly egregious errors tend to get the most “air time” on the news – the surgeon who cuts off the wrong leg or the babies who are switched at birth – these types of negligence are, thankfully, pretty rare. The more common acts of medical malpractice include:
Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
According to a recent study, nearly 20 percent of patients who sought a second opinion about a serious condition were first misdiagnosed. Misdiagnosis is a common error due to the fact that some illnesses either have generalized symptoms or share specific symptoms with other illnesses, making them difficult to diagnose. A doctor faces a nearly impossible task of implementing proper treatment if he or she does not properly diagnose the underlying medical condition.
Errors in diagnosis or complete failure to diagnose can lead to delays in proper treatment, the absence of treatment altogether, potentially long-term injury, or the death of the patient. These diagnosis failures can also result in expensive, extended hospital stays and unnecessary treatments that create an overwhelming financial burden for the patient.
Child birth errors
A mother and her infant can be the victim of medical malpractice. Negligence on the part of medical professionals during childbirth can result in serious complications such as fetal distress, postpartum hemorrhage, and spinal cord injuries, to name a few. Many of these complications are avoidable if the mother and baby are provided with proper care.
Prescription drug errors are often the result of the wrong medication or the right medication in the wrong dosage provided to the patient. Sometimes these errors occur when the patient is not made fully aware of the potential side effects of the drug. Many of these errors are left unreported by patients. The responsible parties for these types of errors may include one or more medical professionals, such as doctors, drug manufacturers, and pharmacists.
Of all the ways a surgery can go wrong, the mistakes are usually simple ones: leaving a sponge or instrument inside of a person, nicking the bowel while operating on another part of the body, or failing to insert a line correctly. Although some surgical errors result from the error of the surgeon, many result from inadequate preoperative planning. The consequences of these mistakes can include infection, long-term damage to the patient’s health, or even death.
If not properly administered, anesthesia can be dangerous. The patient’s medical history must be properly considered when deciding how much anesthesia, if any, to administer. Anesthesia errors can occur in operating rooms during serious surgical procedures and in pre-op and recovery rooms for other, less risky outpatient operations and dental procedures. These errors can constitute medical malpractice.
The road to recovery after being a victim of medical malpractice can be long and arduous, both physically and financially. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our experienced Memphis medical malpractice attorneys can investigate your case thoroughly and help you secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. We serve residents of Jackson, Memphis, and West Tennessee with strong and experienced advocacy. To set up a free consultation about your case, give us a call today at 901.475.7434 or fill out our contact form.