If a doctor kills a patient due to his or her medical malpractice, it can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits both compensate the family of the deceased and punish the negligent healthcare provider. They serve an important function in society and helping victims move forward. There are a number of ways that a negligent healthcare provider can kill a patient. They range from the basic or simple mistakes, to the egregious mistakes.
A common way doctors kill patients due to medical malpractice is when the doctor makes a medication error. This can be an overdose, which can cause serious and immediate injury. A doctor could also fail to recognize the complications and contraindications of a drug. This could also be a wrong-patient incident, where a doctor gives the wrong patient another patient’s medication. Doctors could also give a drug which is not safe for a patient’s conditions, which can kill a patient—such as a depressant for a patient with a low heart beat and blood pressure.
Another way doctors kill patient is simple surgical errors. This means that a patient could be anesthetized improperly with too much medication or not enough. A patient could also be killed when the airway tubes are improperly placed down the patient’s throat and not into the lungs, but into the stomach. This will cause the patient to suffocate. Doctors could slip and cut an artery or nerve and not realize it. Patients could be injured when a doctor fails to stop bleeding.
Infections are another way that a doctor can kill a patient. Both in giving a hospital-acquired infection which ends up being very resistant to medication and treatment, and an infection which is not immediately treated and grows into sepsis. This is an infection of the blood and is particularly difficult to treat and deadly. Other types of internal infections caused by bowel perforations can be deadly very quickly.
Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a condition is also medical malpractice. This could be failing to diagnose cancer which is allowed to fester and grow to a point where it can’t be treated. Or failing to diagnose a stroke or heart attack, which can obviously kill a patient quickly.
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