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Four Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. It claims the lives of between 250,000 and 440,000 patients per year. Any negligence on the part of a healthcare provider that causes harm to a patient can be classed as medical malpractice. However, some manifestations of negligent or reckless care tend to occur more often than others.

1. Prescription Drug Errors

Prescription drug errors may involve prescribing the wrong medication for the patient’s condition or one that can interact with drugs the patient is already taking. It can also involve incorrect administration or dosing in the wrong amounts. Both doctors and pharmacists may be liable for prescription drug errors. For example, the doctor may have prescribed the correct dosage but the pharmacist may have made a mistake when filling the prescription.

2. Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis occurs when doctors fail to correctly identify a patient’s condition based on presenting symptoms, testing, etc. Diagnosis of disease is not always straightforward. Many diseases do not have tests that positively identify them, and symptoms of different conditions can be very similar to one another. An incorrect diagnosis is not necessarily malpractice, but if a reasonable physician would have diagnosed the condition correctly based on the available evidence, there may be grounds for a malpractice claim.

Misdiagnosis can result in harm to patients by delaying treatment for a serious condition, thereby worsening the prognosis. It can also cause harm when the patient receives treatment for a condition that they don’t actually have, e.g., an unnecessary surgery.

3. Surgical Error

Surgical errors are among the most common types of medical malpractice and can be the most devastating. Examples of surgical errors include leaving a foreign object left inside the patient during a surgical procedure, performing surgery at the wrong site, or damaging an adjacent organ or blood vessel during the procedure. These errors can lead to complications such as serious infection. They often require subsequent surgeries to correct, thus exposing the patient to the risk of further complications.

4. Birth Injuries

A birth injury results from trauma during delivery. While many birth injuries resolve on their own, the effects of more serious birth injuries can last a lifetime. For example, cerebral palsy is a congenital medical condition that can result from an injury to the brain during childbirth and cause neuromuscular disabilities for the rest of the individual’s life. As an experienced Kansas City, MO birth injury lawyer – including those who practice at Royce Injury Attorneys, LLC – can confirm, it is often critical for the families of infants harmed during birth to explore their legal options in order to ensure that they can continue to afford the care that their children will require over time as a result of these injuries.

Medical malpractice is a breach of trust – and of legal duty – between doctor and patient. An attorney can help you determine whether that type of negligence has harmed you or another member of your family when you schedule a risk-free consultation.

Royce Injury Attorneys
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