Medical malpractice occurs when a patient has been harmed by a medical professional due to their failure to provide the patient with proper health care treatment. While medical mistakes seem to occur in a small number of cases, there are certain errors that seem to occur more often than others.
Surgery mistakes are dangerous, however anesthesia mistakes are even more so. Even the smallest error made by the anesthesiologist can result in serious and permanent injury to the patient, including brain damage or death. Even before anesthesia has been administered errors can occur, including:
- A lack of through investigation into the patient’s medical history for possible complications, or
- Not informing the patient as to the risks if they do not follow preoperative instructions.
During surgery possible errors include:
- Administering too much anesthesia,
- Failure to monitor the vital signs of the patient,
- Improper intubation of the patient, or
- Use of defective equipment.
Injuries Prior to and During Delivery of a Child
There are a number of fetal injuries that can be caused by medical malpractice. They include brain injuries, fractured bones, and Erb’s palsy. These injuries can also be caused by other factors aside from medical malpractice. The negligence of a physician or obstetrician can occur during childbirth or during prenatal care.
The fetus and/or the mother can be harmed by negligent medical treatment provided during the pregnancy. Examples of negligent prenatal care include:
- Failing to diagnose a mother’s medical condition (including preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility, hypoglycemia, gestational diabetes, or anemia),
- Failing to identify birth defects,
- Failing to identify ectopic pregnancies, or
- Failing to diagnose a disease that could potentially be contagious to the mother’s fetus.
During childbirth, negligence can result not only in injury to the baby but also to the mother. Common errors include:
- Failing to anticipate birth complications,
- Failing to respond to signs that the fetus is in distress,
- Failing to perform a cesarean section when one is necessary, or
- Failing to use forceps or a vacuum extractor properly.
Medication errors occur when the doctor has prescribed the wrong medication, the medication prescribed is meant to treat a misdiagnosed condition, or the medication may be given to the wrong patient. Another error includes incorrect dosage, where the doctor may write an incorrect dosage for the prescription, the prescription is correct but the incorrect dosage is administered, or equipment malfunctions and the wrong amount of medication is administered.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
A great number of complaints of medical malpractice are for misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis. Treatment opportunities may be missed that could have prevented serious harm or possibly even death. To prove a medical malpractice claim for misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, it needs to be shown that a reasonably skilled and competent doctor would not have made the same error under the same circumstances.
Mistakes in the operating room may also result in medical malpractice claims. Surgeons may be negligent during the operation itself or negligent postoperative care may be administered by the nursing staff.
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to any of these medical errors, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
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