The Main Types of Medical Malpractice: A Simple Guide

Some experts estimate that medical errors result in at least 22,000 patient deaths in the US each year. Others project the numbers to be as high as 250,000.

Regardless of which estimate is closer to the truth, the fact is that medical errors do occur. They stem from the negligence on the side of health care professionals.

With that said, there are many types of medical malpractice that patients can become a victim of. This guide covers the most common, so read on to discover what they are and what to do if you experience any of them.

Incorrect Diagnosis

Diagnostic errors are among the most common examples of medical malpractice cases. They’re so prevalent they affect about 12 million people in the US each year.

In many cases, a diagnostic error stems from a failure to diagnose a medical condition. It can also be diagnosing the patient with the wrong type of illness.

Heart attacks, strokes, and cancers are among the most common misdiagnosis. Other examples include Celiac disease, Lyme disease, and depression.

Patients who believe they’re a victim of misdiagnosis should seek a second opinion. From there, they can hire medical malpractice attorneys to sue the doctor who made an error.

Failure to Treat

Failure to treat occurs when a doctor fails to treat a correctly diagnosed condition. In this case, the physician failed to treat the patient at an acceptable standard of care.

An example is discharging the patient prematurely from the hospital. Another is failing to provide necessary follow-up care. All these errors can result in the patient’s condition taking a turn for the worse.

Birth Injuries

There are over 30 different birth trauma diagnosis codes used in the United States. All these refer to injuries to infants that result from or during the birthing process. They can affect the babies’ organs and systems, such as the central nervous system or the spinal cord.

With that said, birth injuries are among the most common medical malpractice cases. Some of these medical errors even claim the lives of more than one thousand infants each year.

Some birth injury medical malpractice examples include Brachial palsy, Cerebral palsy, and fractures. Bruising, forceps marks, facial paralysis, and hemorrhage are also types of birthing injuries.

Parents who believe their baby has a birth injury should talk to a pediatric specialist ASAP. This way, the doctor can provide a second opinion and confirm the existence of the injury. From there, the family should seek the help of a medical malpractice lawyer.

Prescription Medication Errors

Studies suggest that prescription drug errors harm at least 1.5 million people in the US each year. These mistakes often occur as part of misdiagnoses, but they can also be due to incorrect dosing. Failure to consider drug-to-drug interactions can also endanger patients.

Please keep in mind that improper use of prescription drugs leads to minor acute effects. Worse, they can result in severe chronic or even fatal injuries. As such, it’s imperative to seek medical and legal help if your doctor made you take the wrong type of medicine.

Beware These Types of Medical Malpractice

As you can see, all types of medical malpractice are harmful or even deadly. They can affect patients for life, which is why victims should know what their legal options are.

So, if you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice or negligence, seek the help of a lawyer as soon as possible. This way, you can at least receive compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.

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