Medical malpractice refers to a situation where a doctor, hospital, dentist or any healthcare provider has provided substandard care to a patient and has harmed the patient as a result. Any type of medical negligence or situations where care falls short of what a professional healthcare provider with a similar background would have offered can lead to a medical malpractice case. Both acts and omissions can be considered medical malpractice and it is important for those patients who have been affected by the bad acts or decisions of a doctor or care provider to understand whether their case is considered medical malpractice or not. A St Louis medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your situation and help you to determine if the care you received can give rise to a malpractice claim that would allow you to obtain compensation.
Types of Mistakes that Are Medical Malpractice
While any substandard care on the part of a medical professional could be classified as medical malpractice, there are certain kinds of mistakes that are especially common. For example, some of the different types of errors that frequently give rise to medical malpractice claims include:
- Doctors misdiagnosing a medical condition or unreasonably delaying the diagnosis. This can have a profound impact on the health of the patient. For example, a misdiagnosis of a heart attack could be fatal and a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer could reduce the cure-rate from above 90 percent for some cancers to below 10 percent.
- Misread lab results. Mistakes in the lab can include mixing up a patient’s sample with someone else’s, failing to properly read the test results, or contaminating the sample. This can lead to a misdiagnosis of a patient’s serious medical condition.
- Failure to follow-up. If a doctor doesn’t follow up with lab tests to get results or doesn’t share the results with patients, this too can result in a delay in the patient getting treatment or could have fatal consequences.
- Surgical errors. A John’s Hopkins study revealed that doctors operate on the wrong patient around 20 times every single week and operate on the wrong body part the same number of times weekly. Surgeons are also prone to leaving surgical sponges and other instruments inside of a patient during surgery, as Johns Hopkins researchers have estimated that this happens as many as 39 times every week.
- Anesthesia mistakes. Administering the wrong dose, intubation errors and failure to monitor the patient are just a few of the different kinds of mistakes that an anesthesiologist could make that could devastate the health of the patient.
These are just a few examples of the different kinds of mistakes that are considered medical malpractice. If you believe you have received unprofessional or inappropriate care from any medical professional, contact an experienced St Louis medical malpractice lawyer to get help determining if you have a medical malpractice case.