As the population ages, the strain on the healthcare system continues to grow. Medical professionals are having to work overtime, seeing more patients and trying to turn over beds in clinics and hospitals to make room for more.
In this environment, medical errors are bound to happen. There are times when these are harmless, but there are other times where the consequences are severe. Take a look at three of the most common medical malpractice claims filed so that you can protect yourself and your family.
1. Diagnostic Errors
Trying to figure out an illness can sometimes stump even the most knowledgeable physician. Diagnostics is not a perfect process, and there are times when it goes wrong. Doctors order testing, which is conducted elsewhere and processed by other specialists. Things like MRIs and X-Rays are read by radiologists who write reports that are sent to the doctor. The physician gathers all the test results, along with the physical examination findings to come up with a diagnosis. What happens, however, if one element is wrong? When a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, it can send the patient down a long path of erroneous treatment, which may end up allowing the actual illness to perpetuate.
2. Dispensing the Wrong Medication
Allergies are something that doctors and hospitals take seriously, especially when it comes to medications. People don’t always know they are allergic to a particular drug until they are administered. If done in a hospital setting, the chances of recovery are higher; however, if taken at home, this reaction could mean trouble. Medical professionals may make mistakes in prescribing or dispensing the wrong prescription drugs. If this happens in the hospital, it may be due to a charting error. Dispensing wrong medication may also mean that the illness being treated doesn’t get better – it gets worse.
3. Missteps During Labor and Delivery
Doctors and nurses who take care of women during the final stages of pregnancy have a lot of obstacles to overcome. There are times when issues come up at the last minute, making delivery difficult. If a baby is too large, for example, it may take more advanced measures to remove it from the birth canal. The maneuvers and tools used to aid in childbirth can leave marks on the baby, both temporary and permanent. Bones may become fractured during extraction. Nerve damage may occur if the pressure on one part or another is too lengthy. The brain may be deprived of oxygen if the process takes too long.
People make mistakes, and not all will meet the standard necessary to qualify for medical malpractice. If you want to speak more about the laws in your state, contact a medical malpractice lawyer.