Five Leading Causes Of Medical Malpractice

Doctors, physicians, and healthcare providers are critical to society, and they all have a legal duty to provide adequate patient care. While many healthcare treatments and procedures carry some assumed risks, when dire mistakes are made — deliberately or not — this constitutes medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice occurs when a physician or healthcare provider makes a mistake that showcases negligence or intentional wrongdoing, resulting in physical or emotional harm to the patient. Following these mistakes or deliberate actions, a patient is allowed to seek compensation for such misconduct. However, there are many medical malpractice examples. We’ll explore five leading causes.

  1. Misdiagnosis 

In most medical cases, diagnosis is the immediate step. Diagnosing a patient’s specific condition paves the way for recommending the correct form of treatment, medication, recovery outlook, etc. Unfortunately, since diagnosis plays an integral role in healthcare, it’s also an area that sees the most medical malpractice.

A misdiagnosis might include:

  • A complete misdiagnosis
  • A wrong diagnosis
  • A physician taking too long to diagnose a patient’s condition
  1. Medication Errors

Medication errors resulted from pharmacies having difficulty deciphering a doctor’s handwriting in the past. Today, however, medication prescriptions are entered into a computer in most places eliminating this communication error. Nevertheless, a doctor may still prescribe the wrong medication to the patient.

When paired with a misdiagnosis, a medication error might result from a doctor prescribing a medication for a condition a patient doesn’t have. The physician might also fail to consider the patient’s medical history when prescribing medicine.

  1. Failure to Treat

Failure to treat is often a result of misdiagnosis but may also result from a physician intentionally choosing not to treat a patient. Failure to treat examples are:

  • Not referring a patient to a specialist
  • Not monitoring a patient’s medical health carefully
  • Not treating a condition at all or in a proper time frame
  • Not letting a patient know all their treatment options
  • Not performing the appropriate medical tests
  • Not providing care due to medical insurance discrepancies
  1. Surgical Errors

While recent technological advances have resulted in fewer surgical errors, problems can still occur whenever a human element is introduced. Some common surgical errors might include:

  • Leaving surgical tools inside a patient’s body like sponges, clamps, retractors, and cotton swabs.
  • Conducting surgery on the wrong patient.
  • Conducting surgery on the wrong part of a patient’s body.
  • Conducting unnecessary surgeries — often as a result of failure to treat or a misdiagnosis.
  1. Faulty Medical Equipment 

Sometimes medical malpractice might be more so the healthcare provider’s fault versus a specific doctor or surgeon. One example of this is when a medical provider has faulty or severely outdated equipment. Defibrillators, heart monitors, ventilators, and other medical equipment is crucial in maintaining a patient’s health. When such equipment malfunctions, a patient’s health is often at risk. When a healthcare provider uses faulty or outdated equipment that harms a patient, they’re susceptible to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

These are five leading examples of medical malpractice cases. If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice then our lawyers at David & Philpot, P.L are able to assist. We have qualified medical malpractice lawyers!