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Medical malpractice occurs when a health care practitioner falls short of the correct standards of patient care. When a patient is injured due to subpar care, he or she has the right to file a medical malpractice claim in Connecticut in pursuit of financial compensation. Identifying the most common types of medical malpractice cases could allow you to determine whether you have a lawsuit.
Diagnosing a patient is one of the most important tasks given to a physician. Making a timely and correct diagnosis is the first step in treating a patient. If a doctor makes a mistake when diagnosing a patient, the patient could be misdiagnosed with the wrong illness or disease. This could result in the patient receiving the wrong treatment for a condition that he or she does not have, as well as missing out on the treatment that he or she actually needs. Delayed diagnosis and failure to diagnose are also common examples of medical malpractice.
Millions of patients rely on medications to treat their conditions, manage their symptoms and improve quality of life. Unfortunately, doctors and pharmacists make mistakes that lead to patients taking the incorrect medication or dosage. A doctor may prescribe the incorrect medicine, for example, by failing to check the patient’s medical history or mixing up two patients. A nurse may administer the wrong medication or dosage. A pharmacy may get two prescriptions or customers mixed up, or incorrectly interpret a doctor’s handwriting on a prescription.
A medication error at any stage of the patient’s care could be disastrous. The patient may fail to receive the medicine that he or she needs to address a medical condition, for example, or take a drug that has an adverse interaction with something the patient is already taking. Serious and fatal allergic reactions are also a possibility due to medication errors. Finally, the wrong drug or amount could lead to an overdose and organ failure.
Before surgery, a surgeon must take steps to prepare for the operation and prevent “never-events,” such as operating on the wrong patient or body part. Unfortunately, surgeons and their surgical teams do not always use the appropriate amount of care. This can lead to surgical errors such as:
Surgical errors can be physically and emotionally devastating for a patient. They can result in nerve damage, scarring or disfigurement, organ damage, internal bleeding, and other permanent injuries. In the worst-case scenarios, surgical errors can cause wrongful death.
Obstetricians and gynecologists have certain responsibilities when bringing new lives into the world. Any lapse in care or judgment by a doctor or OBGYN before, during or immediately after delivery could cause serious birth injuries. Examples include brain damage, cerebral palsy, facial paralysis and brachial plexus injuries. It is a doctor’s legal duty to properly monitor mother and baby, detect signs of fetal distress, use the appropriate birthing techniques, and order an emergency C-section, if necessary.
Some examples of medical malpractice are not caused by a negligent physician but a defective medical device. If a medical device, instrument or piece of equipment has a design, manufacturing or marketing defect, it may malfunction when in use. Depending on the purpose of the device, a defect could prove deadly. If a cardiac pacemaker malfunctions, for example, the patient’s heart could stop beating. These situations can result in product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer rather than medical malpractice claims against a doctor.
For more information about a potential medical malpractice case in New Haven, contact Jacobs & Jacobs for a free case review with an attorney.