Medical malpractice is a more prevalent problem than you might think. Forbes reports that the Journal of the American Medical Association found medical negligence to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer killed more Americans.
Patients who are injured by medical negligence have the legal right to be compensated for the losses they suffer. Surviving family members also have the right to recovery when the patient is killed as a result of medical negligence. Patients and families must exercise these rights, holding doctors and hospitals accountable for the injuries they cause. This is the only way to prevent future injuries and deter medical professionals from negligence in the future.
Call our Saginaw personal injury attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers for your free initial consultation.
Some of the most common errors that lead to liability for medical malpractice include:
Simple medication errors are one of the most common examples of medical malpractice. Giving a patient the wrong medication, the incorrect amount of medication, or ignoring the patient’s medical allergies can all lead to serious injuries - or even death. Pharmacists and pharmacy staff can also be held responsible for medication errors in the preparation of a prescription. Labeling a prescription with the wrong medication, using an incorrect dosage, and other mistakes can all have fatal consequences.
Anesthetics are very strong medications with very powerful effects. This is why an anesthetist must always be present in the operating room during a procedure, monitoring the patient and ensuring that his or her vital signs remain stable. Even a small overdose of anesthesia can have fatal consequences. Patients must be properly screened before anesthesia is used, and must also be constantly monitored during the administration of anesthesia to be sure that the dosage is correct and there are no dangerous side effects. Finally, a patient must also be properly monitored while coming out of anesthesia to ensure that he or she can breathe adequately on their own.
Surgeries are complicated procedures with many moving parts. There are surgeons, anesthetists, nurses, assistants, medications, and equipment that all need to be in the right place at the right time. Even the slightest misstep can have disastrous consequences for the patient. Because of this, many hospitals have important safety checks in place. Medical staff might be required to count sponges before and after the procedure to ensure that none were left in the patient. Surgeons might have to co-sign a chart to ensure that both agree the correct limb is being amputated. These are important safety measures, and medical staff who fail to follow them can be found negligent.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is incredibly delicate. It is easy to cause permanent nerve damage if a patient is not transported properly, or if a surgeon is not careful while operating in the area of the spinal cord. The most severe spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis. When this happens, the negligent medical providers and facilities must compensate the victim for all the extensive care that will be required for the rest of his or her life.
Failure to Diagnose Cancer
There has been incredible progress in the treatment of cancer in recent decades. Never before have doctors had so many tools available to diagnose and treat a wide variety of cancers. Enhanced imaging in PET scans, CT scans, and MRI machines means doctors can get a very clear picture of where a tumor is located in the body.
Developments in chemotherapy, radiation, and laparoscopic surgeries allow doctors to treat a wider variety of cancers with more accurate methods.
Failure to diagnose cancer can be more devastating than failure to diagnose other medical conditions. Cancers can grow and spread quickly, which means early intervention can improve your chances of survival. A doctor who fails to properly diagnose cancer can drastically reduce your odds of survival. As strange as it may seem, this lost opportunity to treat the cancer is a loss that can be compensated in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Labor and delivery are physically traumatic to a baby. Their small bodies are especially vulnerable to injury, so obstetricians must use proper care during labor and delivery. Obstetricians must be trained and experienced in appropriate delivery techniques. They must also complete continuing education and training to be sure they are qualified to perform the latest techniques on an ongoing basis.
Injuries to Mothers During Labor and Delivery
Mothers can also be injured during labor and delivery. Sometimes the obstetrician must deal with the competing medical needs of a mother and child. If the mother needs a medication that could injure her unborn child, the doctor must make an accurate assessment of the risks and benefits of the medication so that the mother can make a fully informed decision about whether or not she wants to receive it. Obstetricians must be trained on all possible outcomes, and be willing to consult with other medical specialists to achieve the best possible outcome for both patients.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Saginaw Medical Malpractice Lawyers
There are many ways you can be injured through the negligence of a medical provider or facility, and it is important to exercise your right to be compensated for the losses you suffer due to medical malpractice. You could have extensive medical and rehabilitation expenses, and these should be paid by the person who caused your injuries.
You will also help deter providers from being negligent in the future - potentially saving the lives of other innocent victims. Call Michigan Injury Lawyers at (989) 297-3420 or contact us online for your free initial consultation.