7 Most Common Medical Malpractice Claims
More than 250,000 people die in the United States each year as the result of various types of medical malpractice. This makes medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the country, behind cancer and cardiovascular disease. Some reports claim the number of deaths due to medical malpractice is underreported and could be as high as 440,000 a year.
Medical malpractice can happen in any health care setting at the hands of many different types of health professionals. The following are the top seven medical malpractice claims in the United States. If you suspect you were injured by inadequate health treatment, seek help from an experienced Phoenix medical malpractice attorney.
1. Failure to Diagnose a Serious Condition
Misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose a serious condition is the most frequent form of medical malpractice. When a doctor misdiagnoses a patient’s condition, the patient receives treatment for a medical condition they do not have while their actual illness is left untreated.
Misdiagnosis can lead to serious health issues or death, often after unnecessary and costly medical treatments. The patient’s actual illness may worsen and become difficult or impossible to treat.
2. Surgical Errors
Many types of medical malpractice involve surgical errors. Surgical errors can kill a patient or make dangerous emergency treatments necessary to reverse the mistake. Typical surgical errors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Unnecessary or inappropriate surgeries;
- Anesthesia mistakes, such as using too much or not being mindful of a patient’s allergies;
- Cutting an organ or another part of the body by mistake;
- Instruments and other foreign objects left inside patients;
- Infections; and
- Pre- or postoperative mistakes, such as failure to address complications resulting from surgery.
Surgical errors can cause paralysis, brain injury, and other serious and life-changing complications.
3. Incorrect Treatment of a Medical Condition
Improper treatment occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient’s condition correctly but fails to undertake the proper treatment. Improper treatment may cause serious consequences, medical complications, or even death.
When an improper treatment is undertaken, the underlying illness often worsens. It may even become untreatable. Improper treatment could also result in dangerous drug side effects or contraindications with other medications.
4. Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can happen at any time during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Many are due to a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. Other birth injuries may occur from the use of birth tools like forceps.
The most frequent birth injury is cerebral palsy. Other common birth injuries are:
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE);
- Perinatal asphyxia;
- Bone fractures;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Facial paralysis;
- Brachial plexus injury;
- Caput Succedaneum; and
- Intracranial Hemorrhage.
Birth injuries may impact the mother’s health or the child’s health.
5. Cancer Misdiagnosis
When a doctor misdiagnoses cancer, the consequences can be fatal. Patients whose cancer is detected and treated while in the early or developing stages have higher survival rates. When patients are not diagnosed right away, the disease is likely to progress to a stage where treatment is no longer effective.
6. Medication Errors
Medication errors can happen when a drug is prescribed, filled, or administered. Typical medication errors include:
- A doctor prescribing the wrong drug or right drug in the wrong dosage;
- A pharmacist misreading a prescription and providing the wrong medication or dosage to a patient; and
- A patient suffers a life-threatening reaction if a doctor or pharmacist fails to check for drug allergies or interactions with existing medications before prescribing or filling a prescription for a medication.
Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, form when a patient is left in the same position for too long. Bedsores are a sign of neglect or inadequate care commonly seen in hospitals and nursing homes. If left untreated, bedsores can become infected and lead to more serious health problems.
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you suspect you are a victim of any of the above types of medical malpractice, or a different kind of medical mistake, contact the attorneys at Knapp & Roberts. We will meet with you confidentially to discuss your case and a potential medical malpractice lawsuit.
At Knapp & Roberts, we care about you and your family. Let us guide you towards your next appropriate step, whether that is a legal action, a medical specialist, or a local reporting agency.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.