Realistically speaking, doctors and other healthcare professionals are just humans, which is why they’re also capable of making mistakes. This may have something to do with the entire concept of medical malpractice. In most cases, when someone is injured by a healthcare professional’s negligence, it may have some life-changing consequences.
So, if you want to learn more about medical malpractice and what it constitutes, continue reading this article.
Medical Malpractice As Defined
By definition, medical malpractice refers to a situation wherein a doctor or other healthcare professional causes an injury to a patient by omitting or neglecting an act. Generally, in order to be considered medical malpractice under the contemplation of law, your case should have the following characteristics:
- Violation of the standard of care: This means that the healthcare professional failed to observe the standard of care as required by the profession as being acceptable by a reasonably prudent healthcare professional under similar circumstances. Also, when the standard of care hasn’t been complied with, a medical malpractice case may be established.
- The injury was caused by negligence: In addition to the violation of the standard of care, it’s also important to show that the negligence caused an injury. In case it’s determined that the injury was sustained without negligence, then there may be no medical malpractice to speak of.
- The injury resulted in significant damages: In order for a medical malpractice case to proceed, the patient should establish that the injury suffered has resulted in significant damages, including loss of income, disability, past and future medical bills, suffering and pain, and many more.
As you can see, there are three elements that need to be considered when filing a medical malpractice case. However, unless you’re a legal expert, you may need the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney to help you navigate your case. They’ll assess your situation and come up with a strategy that can help you prove the negligence of your doctor or other healthcare professional.
Medical Malpractice: What Constitute As It?
Now that you know what medical malpractice is, the next thing to do is familiarize the circumstances that’ll constitute it. Typically, one can file a medical malpractice case due to the following:
- Medication Errors
These refer to a failure in the treatment process that results in harm or injury to a patient. Medical errors usually happen when the doctor gave the wrong medication to a patient, prescribed an incorrect dosage of prescription, and the like.
Also, they constitute medical malpractice because the healthcare professional failed to observe the necessary standard of care expected of them by the patient.
Another medical malpractice case that should be taken into consideration is misdiagnosis. This happens when the doctor conducts an examination of the patient but fails to diagnose their correct medical condition.
For example, there’s a misdiagnosis when the doctor diagnosed the patient with an illness they don’t have or when the doctor incorrectly informed the patient that they have no illness.
Generally, misdiagnosis can constitute medical malpractice since it prevents the patient from getting the necessary treatment or, in the case of healthy patients, they obtain the treatment that they don’t need in the first place.
- Childbirth Injuries
Medical malpractice can also happen when the medical errors caused fetal injuries, including brain injuries, fractured bones, nerve damage, and many more. Typically, some of the common medical mistakes that occur during childbirth can include:
- Failure to order a cesarean section
- Failure to respond to fetal distress
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor
- Failure to anticipate complications
- Anesthesia Mistakes
In most cases, even the smallest error committed by an anesthesiologist can lead to brain damage, permanent injury, or death. The following are some ways anesthesiologists can commit medical malpractice:
- Failure to notify the patient about the risks involved, especially in the event you fail to comply with the pre-operative instructions
- Failure to review the patient’s medical history
- Use of a defective equipment
- Administration of too much anesthesia during the surgery
- Improper intubation of the patient while administering the anesthesia
- Failure to monitor vital signs when administering anesthesia
- Surgery Errors
Medical malpractice during surgery can also happen in the operating room and during post-operation care and treatment. Generally, surgery errors can occur in the following ways:
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Leaving instruments inside the body
- Negligent in administering care during post-operation
If you think you’re a victim of any of the situations listed above, it’s best to consult an attorney to help you. By having them on your side, you’ll know what to expect in a medical malpractice case.
The Bottom Line
As mentioned, healthcare professionals should follow a certain code of ethics and a certain standard of care in the treatment of patients. But since they’re just humans capable of committing mistakes, they should also be held liable for medical malpractice against the patient.
Thus, if you want a better understanding of medical malpractice, keep the information mentioned above in mind along with hiring a medical malpractice attorney. By doing this, you can rest knowing that someone can help you obtain the right compensation for your injuries as a result of medical malpractice.