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What Are Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Schaumburg medical malpractice attorney

Medical malpractice or negligence occurs when a medical professional makes an error that negatively impacts the patient. This can happen in all fields of medicine, and these types of mistakes can be extremely dangerous for the affected patient. According to a report from MDLinx, approximately 50 percent of physicians aged 55 or older have been sued at least once in their careers. This number is fairly staggering and can leave patients wondering, “Is my doctor making a mistake?”

What Are the Top Reasons for Lawsuits?

There are certain areas of medical malpractice that are more common than others. While these mistakes are typically a product of human error, the severity of the results can leave patients with life-altering injuries. Some common types of medical negligence include:

  1. Misdiagnosis or Missed Diagnosis: This is the most common type of medical malpractice due to its complete reliance on a physician’s opinion. These terms refer to an incorrect diagnosis, or the failure to properly diagnose a patient's condition. When making a diagnosis, a physician relies primarily on their own interpretation of the patient’s symptoms. One misinterpretation or mistake can lead to a lifelong injury for a patient.

  2. Childbirth Injuries: When giving birth, two individuals’ lives are placed into the hands of the physician, the nurses, and other members of a hospital's staff. The labor and delivery process can be unpredictable and become dangerous at any moment. Birth injuries can lead to serious conditions such as cerebral palsy, paralysis, and/or seizure disorders for the child as well as complications that risk the mother's health. 

  3. Anesthesia Mistakes: There are many ways in which errors made by an anesthesiologist can result in injuries to a patient. Failing to look at the patient’s history or neglecting to inform the patient about the correct preoperative procedures, such as not eating beforehand, can result in fatal consequences. Providing excessive amounts of anesthesia or using defective equipment are also common in such cases.

  4. Medication Errors: This form of medical malpractice is very common and dangerous. A physician may prescribe the wrong medication, administer a drug improperly, provide the incorrect dosage, or administer a medication to the wrong patient. Pharmacy staff may also be responsible for injuries which occur because prescriptions were not filled properly. 

Misdiagnosis Versus Missed Diagnosis

It is important to understand the meaning of these two forms of medical malpractice. Misdiagnosis refers to a doctor’s incorrect diagnosis. In other words, your doctor may tell you that you have a condition that you do not actually have. For example, a physician may perceive symptoms as a common illness such as the flu rather than a more serious illness. Alternately, some physicians will misclassify symptoms as a more serious illness than they really are. This can lead to unnecessary procedures and medications, costing patients thousands of dollars.

A missed diagnosis refers to the failure to diagnose a patient's condition. This can be equally problematic, since a patient may suffer the harmful effects of an illness or condition that could have been relatively minor with the proper treatment. These undiagnosed conditions may become more serious or fatal as time passes without treatment.

Contact an Arlington Heights Medical Errors Attorney

Medical mistakes are often hidden by medical professionals and facilities to try to avoid being involved in lawsuits. Not only can these cases cost them large amounts of money, but they can also put a stain on a practice’s reputation. Those who have suffered injuries because of medical negligence deserve to receive compensation for their damages, both physical and financial. At Newland & Newland, LLP, our legal professionals have more than 60 years of combined legal experience, and we believe that negligent doctors or facilities should be held accountable for their mistakes. If you have suffered an injury that was caused by medical errors, contact our Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers at 847-797-8000 for a free phone consultation.






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