5 Common Medical Errors that Lead to Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on May 29, 2018  in Medical Malpractice News. Updated on March 2, 2022

stethoscope and judge gavelHealth care providers are expected to provide patients with competent medical treatment that follows the medical community’s standards. When doctors fail to uphold their duty of care, it can result in patients suffering serious injury or death.

However, not every mistake can be considered a medical error. It often requires a skilled New Jersey medical malpractice attorney to prove the health care provider’s negligence caused the patient’s injury.

Below, we discuss five common medical errors that entitled patients to file a medical malpractice claim against a negligent health care provider. If you or someone you love suffered adverse health effects after receiving medical treatment, contact the Lynch Law Firm, PC to find out if you have a medical malpractice case.

1. Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose

Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a patient’s condition occurs when a health care provider is unable to provide the patient with a correct diagnosis.

This can occur when the patient’s symptoms are similar to another condition or the health care provider neglects to properly assess the patient.

When a patient is misdiagnosed, the patient may fail to receive the proper treatment needed to cure his or her ailment. This can be disastrous to the patient’s health and may result in him or her suffering serious injury or death.

2. Surgical Errors

Errors that are made during surgery can result in patients suffering infection, health complications and death. Medical malpractice claims based on surgical errors can be the result of a lack of proper planning before an operation or from the surgeon’s actions during the procedure.

Common surgical errors include:

  • Operating on the wrong body part or area
  • Performing an operation on the wrong patient
  • Perforating or damaging the patient’s organs
  • Leaving a foreign object inside the patient
  • Committing a post-operative medication error
  • Failing to follow post-operative procedures
  • Neglecting to give the patient correct instructions for post-operative recovery

3. Medication Errors

A medication error occurs when a health care provider administers or prescribes a patient with an incorrect dosage or type of medication. Unfortunately, medication errors are common and often go unreported by patients.

There are several ways that a health care provider can commit a medication error, such as:

  • Prescribing patients the wrong type of drug or wrong dosage
  • Incorrectly administering patients with a dangerous drug
  • Pharmacists fail to follow the doctor’s prescription
  • Health care providers failing to ask if the patient is currently prescribed medication that could harmfully interfere with other drugs

4. Anesthesia Errors

An anesthesia error can be any type of complication that occurs when a patient is harmed while receiving treatment from an anesthesiologist.

This type of medical error can cause serious risk of patients suffering chronic injuries or death. Common anesthesia errors include:

  • Failing to review a patient’s medical history for possible complications
  • Failing to give the patient pre-operative instructions including not eating or drinking before
  • Incorrectly placing a breathing tube in a patient before surgery
  • Administering a patient with a fatal amount of anesthesia
  • Using defective medical equipment to administer anesthesia
  • Failing to monitor a patient’s vitals while he or she is under anesthesia

5. Prenatal Care and Childbirth Errors

Errors during prenatal care, childbirth and the period after delivery can cause serious injuries to the mother and/or child.

Some of the most common prenatal-care errors include:

  • Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose medical conditions related to pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, hypoglycemia, anemia, gestational diabetes and Rh incompatibility
  • Failing to treat contagious diseases the mother could pass on to her child, such as neonatal lupus or herpes
  • Causing the child to suffer birth defects that occur during the birthing process, such as Erb’s palsy or cerebral palsy
  • Failing to diagnose ectopic pregnancies

The birthing process is a delicate procedure that requires health care providers to use significant caution. Labor and delivery errors may be caused by a medical professional’s negligence, and may include failing to:

  • Anticipate complications from the baby’s size
  • Respond to fetal distress signs
  • Observe the umbilical cord around the baby
  • Perform a cesarean section when needed
  • Correctly use medical equipment during the delivery, such as forceps or vacuum extractor

Contact Lynch Law Firm, PC for Help

Suffering an injury that resulted from a health care provider’s negligence can be devastating for patients and their loved ones, and often results in serious injury or death.

At Lynch Law Firm, PC, our New Jersey personal injury lawyers understand the difficulties that victims of medical malpractice experience, and will not hesitate to help you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

Do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a member of our compassionate and dedicated attorneys. We will represent your claim on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation on your behalf.

Call (800) 518-0508 today.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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