Medical malpractice occurs in any area of health care where a mistake made by a health care provider or a health care facility results in injury or death to a patient.
According to online legal advice, "injury from preventable medical error is a significant problem, leading to nearly 100,000 deaths each year." While there are many different areas of medical malpractice, the one common thread that runs through all cases is that of negligence, or a failure to follow a standard of care required by health care professionals. Negligence causes the harm and injury to - and even the death of - patients.
Examples of negligence
The most commonly known example of negligence is surgical error. In some instances, the harm done to a patient is irreparable. For instance, there have been reports in which surgeons have amputated the wrong leg, arm or foot of a patient. This explains why some doctors now, prior to surgery, are "marking" the area on a patient's body that they will work on during surgery.
There have also been documented reports of doctors leaving surgical instruments, such as sponges and scissors, inside of a patient's body. After a short period of time, the patient complains of pain or other type of post-surgical complication. An X-ray taken shows the surgical object lodged in some internal part of a patient's body.
Another example of malpractice is when a doctor gives a patient the wrong diagnosis and treats the patient for something that he or she does not have. There has been case after case of doctors diagnosing and treating a patient with one disease, when in actuality the patient was suffering from another disease that the doctor completely missed.
Types of malpractice
It's not just doctors who make mistakes. Hospital staff can be negligent in responding to patients' call for assistance or frequently checking on patients to whom they have been assigned. Patients can take a "turn for the worse," or fall out of their bed, or lapse into a coma without anyone knowing because they were not being properly monitored by hospital staff.
Other types of medical malpractice include:
1. Prescribing the wrong medication
4. Injuries from laser treatment
5. Failure to perform biopsies to detect cancer
As doctors or hospitals apologize for the errors, patients take matters into their own hands and hire a medical malpractice attorney to help them receive compensation for their pain, suffering and damages. In some instances, patients have to change their way of living because of their injuries.
The practice areas for attorneys are many and varied, which is why attorneys are experienced in handling particular types of cases. An attorney's job is to prove that a health care provider is liable for a patient's injuries or death and remedying the harm caused to the patient. In some cases, attorneys can negotiate a settlement for their clients. At other times, they will discuss with their clients the possibility of filing a lawsuit as a last recourse.
If the neglect of a health care professional or health care facility has caused you to become injured, or if you have a loved one who has died due to neglect, contact a medical malpractice attorney who can discuss your legal options and what it will take for you to receive just compensation for the damages done to you or a family member.
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