Common Types of Medical Malpractice


“Medical malpractice” is a legal term that basically refers to an instance where a doctor or other medical professional doesn’t meet the generally accepted minimum standard of care in treating a patient.  There are many ways medical malpractice can occur.  Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include those discussed below.

Medical Malpractice – Operating on the Wrong Body Part or at the Wrong Site

People may be surprised to learn operating on the wrong body part is a common source of medical malpractice.  Removing the healthy breast, rather than the cancerous one, or operating on the wrong portion of the spinal column, can and does occasionally occur.  While some hospitals have procedures in place to identify the correct body part, or the correct portion of the body part in question, failures to understand the significance of the markings or comply with protocol may still lead to problems.  For example, does the arrow drawn with a black marker, pointing to the right eye, indicate this is the eye to be removed, or the eye to be preserved?  Currently, the medical profession does not have universal protocols in place.

Leaving Items in the Patient

During surgery, any number of professionals are utilizing any number of tools to effectuate the surgery.  Sponges, tools, and instruments are some of the items that can possibly be left behind inside a patient during surgery.  Best practices dictate counting all items intended for surgery before the operation on the patient begins.  Additionally, best practices dictate a recount of the items after surgery.  Unfortunately, not all medical teams follow this best practice.

Failure to Sterilize or Clean Properly

Obviously, unsterilized instruments, unwashed hands, unclean work surfaces, and dirty linens can lead to infection and even death.  Properly working autoclaves for instrument sterilization, appropriate handwashing and gowning protocols, janitorial plans, and laundry facilities are essential to good health.

Failure to Properly Diagnose

One of the most common forms of medical malpractice is a failure to properly diagnose a patient.  In evaluating a claim, experts determine whether a reasonable medical professional would have diagnosed the condition or illness given the same information, and whether or not early diagnosis would have made a difference in the ultimate outcome.

Failure to Properly Treat

Even where diagnosis is proper, if the treatment plan is inconsistent with generally accepted treatment protocol, there may be medical malpractice.  Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty of care they are expected to uphold.  Failure to comply with generally accepted practices may constitute medical malpractice.

Other Types of Medical Malpractice

Other types of medical malpractice include:

  • Delay in treatment
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Other injury during birth
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Misdiagnosis of cancer
  • Errors with medication
  • Paralysis
  • Errors in surgery
  • Emergency room errors
  • Errors in radiology
  • Mistakes post-op
  • Failing to monitor
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Wrongful death
If You Believe You Have Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice

If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact us for a free consultation.  Because medical professionals are human, they can make mistakes that lead to injury or death.  You and your family should not have to suffer because of their error.  At Rosner Law Offices, P.C., P.A., we offer free consultations.  There is no fee unless we win your case.  Contact us at (856) 692-6500.

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