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Medical Errors that Lead to Malpractice Lawsuits

Medical Error leading to medical lawsuit


It’s understood that there are risks involved with every medical procedure. And while surgeons, doctors, and medical professionals take an oath to do no harm, they are only human and mistakes can happen. Unfortunately, a mistake on the operating table can dramatically alter a patient’s life. To compensate for their diminished quality of life, a patient may have cause to sue a negligent health care professional if they failed to meet their standards of care. Here are some of the common medical errors that lead to malpractice lawsuits.

Surgical Errors

Surgeries are delicate procedures that require preparation and expertise. Any errors made by the surgeon or surgical team can result in serious and even fatal consequences. Even so, surgery errors make up one-third of all medical malpractice claims. Common surgical errors include:

  • Leaving tools or instruments inside a patient
  • Operating on or amputating the wrong body part
  • Performing the wrong surgery
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Damaging or perforating other organs during surgery
  • Operating in an unsanitary environment
  • Using unsterilized tools

Anesthesia Errors

During surgery, a patient will undergo anesthesia so that they sleep through the procedure. An anesthesiologist must know the patient’s complete medical history and carefully monitor them throughout the surgery to prevent any fatal errors that could result in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Administering too little anesthesia can lead to a patient being awake during surgery, while providing too much anesthesia can prevent a patient from ever waking up again. The anesthesiologist is also responsible for informing the patient of any eating and drinking restrictions pre-surgery.

Medication Errors

Medicine such as painkillers or antibiotics are prescribed to patients with ailments and those recovering from a medical procedure. Because each medication can cause serious side-effects, health care providers must be careful when prescribing medicine to patients who may already be taking other drugs. Negligence can occur if the doctor or pharmacist prescribes or administers a patient the incorrect dosage or wrong type of medication.

Prenatal and Birth Complications

In order to anticipate any potential complications prior to birth, physicians monitor a child’s development in utero. Failure to discover any problems that could put the mother or child’s health at risk can trigger a medical malpractice lawsuit. If complications arise such as fetal distress or an umbilical cord wrapped around the child, doctors must be prepared to perform an emergency cesarean section. Doctors must also use the correct tools during the birthing process and be extremely careful to not cause harm when physically delivering a baby.

Delayed or Misdiagnosis

Doctors are trusted to properly diagnose symptoms to determine what is wrong with a patient and then recommend a course of treatment. Lack of attentiveness or medical ability can often cause physicians to misdiagnose a patient or overlook the cause of their illness until it’s too late. Such incompetence can result in wasted time and money spent on useless medications while the patient’s condition worsens.

Expert Malpractice Representation

You deserve better. If you or someone you love is suffering due to medical error or misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced, knowledgeable lawyers at Lanzotti & Rau. Our firm works to hold health care providers liable for their negligence and help you reclaim any wages lost because of medical bills or pain and suffering. You don’t pay unless we win. To determine the strength of your case, call us today to schedule your free consultation at 573-335-9300.