Healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and others do not intentionally cause medical malpractice or harm patients. In fact, medical malpractice is premised on a theory of negligence, meaning that the healthcare provider failed to adhere to the standard of care and did or did not do something that a reasonably prudent healthcare provider in similar circumstances would have done.
There are many common causes of medical malpractice, some of which are the healthcare provider’s fault and some which are due to the preparation or other factors. Some of the common types of medical malpractice include the following
Communication Errors - Being one of the most common types of medical malpractice, communication errors are easily prevented and fixable by medical staff. However, many health care providers just fail to take the extra time to confirm procedures, medications, and other tasks before doing them. This can result in serious medical malpractice, like wrong patient surgeries, wrong site surgeries, medication errors, and other major mistakes. Communication errors can also be between your pre-operative team, surgical team, post-operative team, and even after discharge to your primary care and follow-up care. All of these chains must be linked together and operating at full speed to ensure your health care is appropriate and not going to cause you further harm.
Equipment Errors or Malfunctions - Medical equipment must be constantly cleaned, repaired, and most importantly inspected. If any of the equipment is defective or deficient, it must be replaced. However, many times medical offices and hospitals will try to continue to use even slightly broken or damages equipment to cut corners, or reuse medical tools that should really be disposed of. This saving of the bottom line can end up costing more in the long run when patients get harmed.
Failure to Maintain a Clean Environment - We have heard a lot in the news about hospital acquired infections which can cause significant and life-threatening infections and conditions for a patient to overcome. These types of infections are almost always preventable with the proper care and sterilization, but sometimes hospitals and medical offices try to cut corners and end up causing these devastating infections.
Failing to Properly Train Staff - A surgeon is only as good as his medical staff, and if a medical staff is making basic errors like cross-contaminating, failing to properly sanitize, and failing to communicate, the entire medical team will suffer. This is why training is very important and can save patients lives.
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