When we go to the hospital or our doctor’s office, we trust that our medical providers will act in our best interests. Unfortunately, doctors do not always act in their patients’ best interests. Sometimes doctors act negligently or recklessly when treating patients and cause them great harm. In some instances, patients injured by their doctors have a right to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against them.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional acts negligently or recklessly when treating a patient. There are many different types of medical malpractice lawsuits, but we have listed some of the most common types below.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Failure to diagnose a medical condition promptly can lead to severe injuries and even death. When a doctor fails to diagnose a patient’s cancer properly, for example, that cancer can spread significantly. The more cancer spreads, the more dangerous it becomes. In one recent case, a soldier went in for treatment after being shot in his lung. The doctor failed to diagnose the patient’s tumor growing in his lung, as evident in the X-ray. As a result, the patient developed stage 4 cancer. Had the doctor diagnosed cancer sooner, the patient might have been curable with more aggressive treatments.
Many of us are familiar with some of the more egregious cases of medical malpractice involving surgical errors. In the past, surgeons have amputated the wrong leg and operated on the wrong side of a patient’s brain. In other cases, sturgeons have left gauze or other medical tools in their patients’ bodies, resulting in additional damage and infections. There are other types of surgical errors that are not as obvious.
Surgeons must carefully review their patients’ medical history so they can keep them safe during surgeries. When surgeons negligently fail to discover that patients have high blood pressure or diabetes, those patients may suffer injuries during the surgery. Surgeons are also required to properly monitor their patients after the surgery to ensure they are not developing any infections or experiencing any dangerous complications from the surgery itself. When surgeons make errors during the surgical process or fail to care for their patients before or after surgery properly, they can be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Anesthesiology errors are another common type of medical malpractice. An anesthesiologist is a doctor with specialized training to anesthetize patients before and during operations. Using the wrong amount of medication can be deadly. Anesthesiologists sometimes make mistakes when administering anesthesia that can result in a patient’s death.
Anesthesiologists must monitor their patients carefully throughout the operation and adjust anesthesia medication as necessary. The anesthesiologist may fall asleep or become distracted during the operation. Failure to monitor patients can result in the anesthesiologist missing important cues that the patient is experiencing problems, such as spikes in blood pressure and heart rate. When anesthesiologists do not react appropriately in these situations, they can be held liable in medical malpractice lawsuits. There have been cases in which anesthesiologists notice that the patient is conscious during the surgery and enduring excruciating pain.
Birth injury lawsuits are another common type of medical malpractice lawsuit. Doctors who are in charge of helping deliver babies must provide reasonably safe and appropriate care. This includes monitoring the patients giving birth for any complications that could arise during their pregnancy. When obstetricians fail to diagnose a mother’s medical conditions, they cannot properly treat those conditions. As a result, mothers and babies have died from medical conditions such as preeclampsia that go undiagnosed and untreated.
Birth injuries can also happen during the birthing process. For example, when obstetricians wait too long to conduct a C-section during a difficult labor, the baby and mother may become injured or die. Anytime a baby’s oxygen is cut off, the baby is at risk of suffering hypoxic brain injuries resulting in devastating long-term consequences.
For example, if a doctor fails to notice that the baby’s heart rate is dropping and does not perform a C-section, the baby may become hypoxic and unable to access any oxygen to his or her brain. As a result, the baby could become diagnosed with cerebral palsy, affecting his or her entire life. Babies who experience severe oxygen deprivation can become completely unable to talk, walk, or care for themselves. If your child has suffered injuries because of a negligent doctor, speak to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation that can help you care for your child throughout his or her life.
Anytime a patient enters a hospital for surgery or other treatment, there is a risk of infection. Hospital patients are exposed to a disease called MRSA, a serious bacterial infection commonly acquired in hospitals. In many cases, doctors can treat these types of dangerous infections, but some infections do not respond to treatment and become deadly. Doctors and surgeons have a duty to monitor their patients for signs of infection. When signs develop, they must provide immediate treatment to prevent more serious complications. When doctors negligently fail to prevent infections, diagnose infections, or treat infections properly, they are liable for the injuries that result.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the most complex types of legal action. Plaintiffs must utilize expert witnesses and gather massive amounts of medical evidence to succeed in their medical malpractice lawsuits. At the Law Offices of Jason Lutzky, We understand what it takes to obtain compensation in a medical malpractice case. Our trial-ready lawyers are ready to investigate your claim and advise as to your legal options. Contact our medical malpractice lawyers today to schedule a free case evaluation.