What Are the Types of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare worker breaches his or her duty of care to a patient, leading to a worsening illness, additional injuries, and potential death. This negligence can result through a number of actions or omissions.

While medical malpractice is a rare occurrence, many of these cases do occur throughout the United States, resulting in serious physical, financial, and emotional damages. Understanding the different types of medical malpractice can help you determine whether or not you can pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit.

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

One of the most common acts of medical malpractice is a missed or delayed diagnosis. If you go to the doctor and he or she misdiagnoses your condition, the injury or illness can worsen, and you may not have the opportunity to pursue necessary treatment. You may also receive treatment that is inappropriate for your condition, aggravating your symptoms.

To prove a case of missed or delayed diagnosis, you will need to show that a similarly trained and competent doctor in the same position would have diagnosed your condition correctly under the same circumstances. Your attorney can connect you with medical experts who can help build your claim.

Prescription Errors

When writing a prescription or administering medication, your doctor must ensure that he or she is giving you the correct medication for your condition at a safe dosage. He or she must also make sure that you are not allergic to the medication, and that the medication won’t interact in dangerous ways with any other prescriptions you may be taking.

If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or fails to take your medical history into consideration, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice. Any medication errors can result in overdose, allergic reactions, and other adverse effects.

Birth Injuries

Childbirth is a very complex process, and obstetricians, nurses, and delivery room doctors must take standard precautions to keep patients safe and healthy. A number of injuries can arise to a mother and child alike if medical professionals fail to uphold their duties of care.

For example, an obstetrician may fail to check for complications such as preeclampsia during pregnancy check-ups, leading to life-threatening risks during labor and delivery. A doctor delivering a baby may use force or dangerous tools, resulting in paralysis, nerve damage, and broken bones. In some cases, delivery room staff fail to monitor a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, resulting in brain damage and conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Surgical Errors

Surgeries are also very complex and specialized procedures, and surgeons can commit a number of dangerous mistakes while operating on a patient. A surgeon may accidentally perform surgery on the wrong body part or leave a foreign object inside of you. He or she may sever a blood vessel or puncture an organ, or amputate a healthy body part.

The nursing staff may also commit acts of negligence post-surgery. Nurses may give you the wrong medication or fail to inform you of proper aftercare instructions. They may also use improper procedures or defective equipment that may put you at risk for infection.

What to Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice

Realizing you may be a victim of medical malpractice can be a daunting experience, but it’s important to take action immediately to seek justice. First, collect all documentation related to your injury and the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to the malpractice. After collecting the necessary evidence, contact a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.