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Over 250,000 fatalities per year are attributable to medical error, according to Johns Hopkins patient safety experts. Medical malpractice occurs when patients are harmed by negligent medical professionals. Certain types of hospital errors are more common than others and lead to more injuries, fatalities, and medical malpractice cases. Below are some of the more common errors.
An incorrect prescription, improper dosing, or medicine given to the wrong patient all constitute medication errors. The most common medication errors involve dosages; these errors can occur when a medical professional makes a mistake when writing the dosage on a prescription, administers the incorrect amount of medicine, or relies upon faulty equipment to administer the drug. A medical professional may also fail to consider any medications that the patient is currently taking which may lead to an adverse interaction with the newly prescribed medication.
There are two types of diagnostic errors that are responsible for a large percentage of medical malpractice complaints: delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis. A delayed diagnosis occurs when medical professionals fail to diagnose diseases in a timely fashion, often rendering patients unable to take advantage of early treatments that may have prevented further harm or death. A misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional incorrectly diagnoses a patient’s illness or condition, causing it to progress into a worse state than it would have if the correct diagnosis had been given promptly.
To establish diagnostic error in a medical malpractice case, a patient must prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship, that the doctor was negligent, and that the doctor’s negligence caused them to be injured. Negligence must be proven by showing that a reasonably skillful and competent doctor faced with the same circumstances would not have made the diagnostic error. To prove injury, a patient does not need to show that their illness is now untreatable, but rather only that it was made worse because of the doctor’s diagnostic error.
Surgical errors occur in the operating room and can include mistakes such as operating on the wrong body part or accidentally harming internal organs during surgery. However, the most common surgical errors involve anesthesia and childbirth. Anesthesia errors, such as failing to detect possible complications, giving patients too much anesthesia, and failing to adequately monitor a patient’s vital signs are among the most serious and can cause brain damage, permanent injury, or death.
Many childbirth injuries can be attributed to medical malpractice. Medical professionals may be held liable for negligent prenatal care when they fail to diagnose or treat conditions that could harm the mother or the baby. This includes situations in which a doctor fails to anticipate birth complications, fails to order a necessary cesarean section, or incorrectly uses forceps.
If you were injured or lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, contact a Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyer at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help you find answers and hold negligent parties accountable. From our offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we handle medical malpractice claims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Call us at 856-354-9444 or contact us online to discuss your case.