When medical professionals have bad days at work, patients can suffer. Here are four of the most common ways medical staff members can commit malpractice and breach their duty to “do no harm.”
1. Failure To Diagnose or Misdiagnosis
Because so many different illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be tough for physicians to make proper diagnoses for every patient they see. An improper diagnosis, however, can lead to serious injury or death. Therefore, it’s imperative that medical staff follows strict protocols when formulating a diagnosis. Additionally, they must follow treatment with appropriate monitoring and be willing to change course if symptoms persist.
2. Birth Injuries and Prenatal Neglect
Negligent medical care during pregnancy and childbirth could be devastating for mom, baby, or both. It’s important for doctors to accurately diagnose medical conditions related to pregnancy as well as contagious diseases or birth defects. During labor and delivery, medical staff should pay close attention to signs of fetal stress or umbilical cord complications. When hospital staff fails to perform emergency cesarean operations when there are clear signs of distress, they could be liable for birth-related injuries.
3. Anesthesia Injuries
Anesthesia is a necessary and essential component of major surgical procedures. However, there are potentially many problems that can arise from the drug-induced sleep. To ensure patient safety, anesthesiologists must perform the following steps:
- Evaluate patient’s medical history
- Administer proper dosage
- Place the breathing tube correctly
- Monitor patient’s vital signs
Doctors must also inform patients of pre and postoperative instructions to prevent complications from anesthesia. Failing to follow proper protocol, as well as knowingly using faulty medical equipment constitutes malpractice.
4. Surgical Mistakes
When patients and family members agree to surgery, they are placing immense trust in the medical community to care for them and their loved ones. They expect a well-trained surgeon to perform the correct operation in the necessary location on the right patient. Careless actions like cutting in the wrong place, leaving medical tools inside the body, or prescribing incorrect dosages of medications are enormous failures on the part of doctors, nurses, and hospital staff that can cause extreme complications.
As a non-medical professional, it can be difficult to determine if your health struggles have been compounded by errant medical practice. If you feel that you may be a victim of medical malpractice, and you’re interested in legal recourse.