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What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases?

a doctor operating on a patient

Medical malpractice claims can cover a wide range

Medical malpractice often results in serious injuries and fatalities. According to a study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, an estimated 250,000 people die each year due to medical errors made by healthcare professionals. As a result, medical malpractice errors are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

But what is medical malpractice? And what are the most common types of medical malpractice errors? Below, you can learn more about this important issue and the legal options available to injury victims and their families.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a general term often used to describe injuries, illnesses, or fatalities caused by the actions (or inaction) of medical professionals. In many cases, medical malpractice involves medical professionals acting negligently or recklessly. In addition, medical malpractice may involve medical professionals deviating from standard medical care practices, resulting in severe injury, illness, or fatality.

What are the most common medical malpractice claims?

Medical malpractice claims are often divided into two main categories – recklessness and medical negligence.

Medical recklessness often involves medical professionals acting in an unprofessional or unethical manner. This means that the actions of a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or another medical professional directly caused a person’s injury or illness.

Medical negligence means a medical professional failed to perform certain duties or actions. As a result, a patient sustained a serious injury, illness, or another medical condition due to inaction by a medical professional.

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis

One of the most common types of medical malpractice cases, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a serious injury or illness, can have serious consequences. Cancer misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of cancer are two of the most common – and most serious – types of misdiagnosis cases.

Experienced medical professionals know how to properly diagnose serious illnesses and injuries. If medical professionals fail to diagnose a medical condition due to not performing standard medical tests or not following standard medical procedures, that often constitutes medical malpractice.

Medication errors

Many serious medical conditions occur due to medication errors made by medical professionals. Medication errors can include:

  • Prescribing the wrong medication.
  • Giving the wrong medication to a patient.
  • Giving a patient the improper dosage amount, including overdose (too much of a particular medication) errors or inadequate dosage (not enough of a particular medication).
  • Medical problems caused by contraindicated medications, such as a dangerous drug interaction or allergic drug reaction, are other common pharmaceutical errors resulting in serious illnesses or injuries.

Surgical errors

There’s no room for mistakes when surgeons are operating on a patient. That’s why surgical errors can have such serious and potentially-fatal consequences. Common surgical errors include:

  • Delays in operating on a patient.
  • Unsanitary hospital conditions, resulting in post-operative infection.
  • Operating on the wrong body part.
  • Operating on the wrong patient.
  • Performing the wrong medical procedure.
  • Leaving surgical instruments in a patient.

Another common type of surgical error involves anesthesia errors, in which an anesthesiologist gives the wrong amount of anesthesia, a drug administered to people undergoing surgery.

Unsanitary conditions

Due to unsanitary conditions, many serious illnesses and medical problems occur at hospitals and other medical facilities. For example, one of the most common and serious infections that occurs due to unsanitary conditions is sepsis, a life-threatening infection that is especially common among hospital patients.

How can a medical malpractice attorney help?

You might think you don’t need an attorney if you or someone you love is the victim of medical malpractice. However, many doctors, surgeons, hospitals, and other medical institutions often insist they didn’t do anything wrong. Instead, they hire legal professionals to defend their actions. That way, they can avoid responsibility and avoid having to provide compensation for damages.

We know what’s at stake at The Lancione Law Firm. That’s because Ohio medical malpractice lawyer John A. Lancione has dedicated his career to helping injury victims and their families in the Cleveland area. As a result, he’s familiar with the laws that apply to such cases and can work with you to build a strong medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact us and schedule a free consultation. You can reach us online or call (440) 331-6100 or (877) 515-4369. We handle medical malpractice and birth injury cases nationwide.

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