Medical malpractice is a serious problem in the United States and around the globe. andnbsp;The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) ranks it as the third leading cause of death in the United States and falls just after heart diease and cancer. The most common medical malpractice claim is problems in surgery. Approximately 34% of all malpractice cases involve surgery. Medical malpractice is when a merdical professional injures a patient through negligence or malfeasance. When a person’s outcome from a medical procedure is not what they wanted or expected, it is not always malpractice. If you or someone you love has been hurt by a medical professional, you should look forandnbsp;examples of medical malpractice to see if your problem rises to this level.
In order for a case to rise to the level of being medical malpractice, several criteria must be met.
- The practices of standard care were not followed.If the medical team that provided care did so in a manner that is not consistent with current standards and negligence can be proved, it can be considered malpractice.
- The flawed care resulted in an injury.If the substandard care resulted in serious injury to the patient, it can legally be considered to be malpractice. Even if negligence can be proved, if it did not result in an injury to a patient, it cannot be considered to be medical malpractice.andnbsp;
- The injury from the negligence was severe.It is not enough to simply be able to prove that a negligent doctor or other medical professional, through negligence, caused an injury but that injury needs to be severe. These are expensive cases to litigate so the plaintiff needs to show the injury reslted in lost wages or income and significant pain and hardship.
What are some examples of medical malpractice?
- A girl was given the wrong blood type and died.A girl was set to have a heart and lung transplant. The doctors failed to do routine blood tests including those to get her blood type or check it againt the donor’s blood type. When she was operated on, she was given organs from someone with a non-compatible blood type. The surgeons performed a second surgery to correct the first one but she died from complications anyway. There are few examples of medical malpractice more clear than this one.
- A patient died in the emergency room.A women went to the emerency room but was not seen for nearly 20 hours. During that time, she collapsed on the floor. Other people in the waiting room told staff they saw her in distress on the floor but no one stepped in. She died before she could get any treatment.
- A man had the wrong leg amputated.A 52 year old man was admitted to the hospital to have one of his legs amputated. During the surgery, the medical team realized they were working on the wrong limb but not until it was too late and they had to remove the good leg. The hospital claimed that a “series of errors” caused the mistake.
- Surgeons drilled on the wrong side of the head. This has happened at least three times at a hospital in Rhode Island. Two paients to whom it happened survived and were fine. A third man who had this done to him died as a result of the mistake.
Not all examples of medical malpractice are as dramatic or clear cut. Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell if medical malpractice even happened. For instance, in cases where a child is given a cerebral palsy diagnosis, this could be caused by something natural but it can also stem from one of any number of common birth injuries for babies. If you are concerned that your child suffered a birth injury that resulted in cerebral palsy, you should contact a birth injury lawyer. Many people do not know what to do when a birth injury occurs. If you have any concerns about how a birth was handled, the best thing to do is contact a medical malpractice lawyer.
The list of examples of medical malpractice is long. Even if your case is not as clear cut as some, if you suffered an injury as a result of a bad medical decision, you should consult a attorney.