Malpractice injuries occur when a medical professional commits an error in the diagnosis and/or treatment of a patient’s medical condition.
Broadly defined, a medical error may be described as the failure to properly execute an intended treatment plan or the use of an improper treatment plan in the course of a patient’s diagnosis or treatment. Below are the 4 general types of medical errors associated with malpractice injuries.
A proper and successful course of treatment begins with a prompt, accurate diagnosis. It is the responsibility of a licensed physician to:
Determine which condition is being presented in his or her patient, of the literally thousands of diseases, injuries and syndromes that have been identified by medical science.
Decide which tests need to be performed and determine the necessity of tests that may be painful or invasive.
Refer the patient to the appropriate specialist if the doctor does not have the correct training or certification in the particular field of medicine.
If you or a loved one received one of these diagnostic errors, you may have suffered a medical malpractice injury: incorrect diagnosis, failure to order additional tests when warranted, failure to act on test results received and the use of outdated tests.
Following a correct diagnosis, the treating physician must determine which course of treatment will produce the optimal outcome for the patient. He or she must factor in the patient’s general health, age and relevant health history. Medical errors that may occur in this stage includes include:
- Delaying necessary treatment
- Choosing an inappropriate treatment
- A surgeon making a mistake resulting in injury during a procedure or operation
- Failure to get informed consent from the patient or responsible party
- Administering the wrong dose or type of medication
- Making an error with the administration of treatment
Once the correct treatment or procedure has been administered, preventative medical errors may occur when the provider fails to prevent infection or complications. If the doctor or provider fails to follow up with postoperative protocol, then his or her patient may become the victim of a preventative error. If insufficient effort is taken to protect a patient from infection or disease following a procedure, this is another example of a preventative error.
Medical malpractice also results from medical errors that do not fit in the categories above.
These may include:
- Equipment failure or malfunction
- Communication errors among medical staff, which can take place either verbally or through the patient’s chart or medical records
Call Today for a Free Case Evaluation from Our Injury Law Team
Medical professionals have the distinction of working in a field where grave consequences can follow human error. It may be understandable for mistakes and accidents to happen, but the resulting injuries can be classified as medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a medical error, our injury law team may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for free case evaluation at 1-813-324-5202.