In a limited study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2014, researchers found that 1 percent of all participating physicians accounted for 32 percent of paid medical malpractice claims. Medical malpractice claims can become complicated and frustrating, and the most common causes include failures in communication and incomplete patient information.
The Top Causes of Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other member of a medical staff breeches the expected standard of care—meaning another similarly skilled and prepared doctor would have acted differently in the same situation. The following are the most common mistakes that lead to medical malpractice claims:
- Medication Errors. Prescribing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of a medication, or failing to account for medication interactions can all result in severe injury.
- Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or missed diagnosis. Doctors may make mistakes by diagnosing the wrong illness, diagnosing too late to treat properly, or completely overlooking a diagnosis—leading to improper or irrelevant treatment and injury.
- Surgical errors. Proper preparation is absolutely essential to the surgery process. However, medical staff may make anesthesia errors, perform the wrong surgery, or perform surgery on the wrong area of the body. These can lead to catastrophic consequences.
- Failures in communication and informed consent. Before a patient receives any treatment, it’s important his doctors explain options thoroughly and in a manner the patient understands. Likewise, the doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other hospital staff must all fully understand and agree upon a course of action.
- Failure to consider or obtain a patient’s full medical history. To make an educated diagnosis and treatment plan, the doctor and her team must fully acknowledge and consider a patient’s medical history. Without it, mistakes can lead to injury and medical malpractice claims.
- Monitoring errors. After surgery or during another crucial point of recovery, nurses should carefully monitor patients, and doctors should carefully monitor subordinates to ensure proper care.
- Birth injuries. Improper use of surgical tools and drug errors can all lead to a birth injury. If this happens, infants may deal with complications such as brain damage and paralysis.
Find Quality Medical Malpractice Help
To win a medical malpractice case, it’s crucial a lawyer and patient together can prove that a doctor’s mistake directly led to injury. For help or questions about your case, contact the experienced team at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum. Fill out the online contact form on our website to get started today.