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Medical negligence, commonly referred to as medical malpractice, can take many different forms. Depending on who caused the injury, medical negligence claims can be brought against hospitals, hospital staff, or directly against a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional.
However, sometimes, after a person suffers an injury in a hospital, or after a medical procedure, they may not know what kind of claim to bring. Generally, if the injury does not involve the medical care, such as a slip and fall on a wet floor in a hospital waiting room, then there will not be a medical negligence case.
To help you determine whether you have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, below you will find some common examples.
Medical Procedures Gone Wrong
There are some cases of medical negligence that are just jaw dropping. These tend to involve blatant errors, like amputating the wrong limb, or performing a procedure on the wrong patient. However, not all medical procedures that go wrong will be the basis of a claim. Only when a doctor or hospital fails to exercise reasonable care will a medical negligence case be actionable. Individuals should be cautioned against making this assessment alone as answering this question requires specialized legal and medical knowledge.
Prescribing the Wrong Medication
Another medical error that can be the basis of a malpractice action involves prescribing the wrong medication to a patient. This can be fatal, or have significant consequences, particularly if the patient has an allergic reaction, or an underlying condition worsens due to lack of treatment.
Failing to Diagnose the Correct Problem
If a doctor fails to diagnose a problem that another doctor in similar circumstances would have diagnosed, there may be an actionable claim. These cases can be rather difficult as many diagnoses often share multiple overlapping symptoms. This means that a misdiagnosis may have been an accident any doctor could have made, and unfortunately, that could potentially defeat a potential case.
Post Surgical Infections
Post surgical infections are a very real and very scary problem that all hospitals and doctors try to avoid. Unfortunately for patients, the source of an infection is very difficult to prove, meaning that even when they happen to be admitted patients, negligence is not automatic.
Informed Consent/Medical Battery
If a doctor or hospital staff member lies to a patient to secure their consent to perform a procedure, this can be both medical malpractice as well as medical battery. Informed consent requires doctors to accurately explain procedures, medications, and the associated risks.
If you suspect that you have been the victim of medical negligence, or medical malpractice, seek out a consultation from an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. If you do not proceed as soon as you suspect medical negligence, your ability to bring your claim may be affected.