Gavel and stethoscope

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management. 

Prescription Medication Errors

With the modern advancements of technology, the vast majority of prescriptions are entered into a computer program and submitted online. This takes the guesswork out of reading a prescription, but it does not completely prevent physicians and their staff from mis-reading letters or numbers or inputting incorrect information. 

Additionally, doctors can mistakenly prescribe the wrong dosage of a medication for a patient, which can have disastrous results. Anything from allergic reactions to harmful life threatening side-effects can occur. Failure to review a patient’s history before writing a new prescription can also have dire consequences.

Defective Medical Equipment

Medical equipment defects or medical devices that fail at critical times can put patients’ lives at risk. In many cases, the product manufacturer has some liability for injury or death, but doctors may also face malpractice suits when medical equipment fails. Since it is their responsibility to ensure the equipment is used properly and to explain all risks to the patient, as well as provide follow-up care, they carry the liability. 

Physicians have a responsibility to monitor their patients who suffer from ailments like heart attacks or heart disease. This responsibility includes maintaining and monitoring equipment like heart monitors, ventilators, defibrillators, and other critical medical equipment. The same is true for medical devices, such as implants, pacemakers, stents, and prosthetics. Improper procedure involving incorrectly installing these devices can cause a defect, making the doctor responsible for injuries. One example of neglect involving medical equipment includes when a surgeon implants a pacemaker into a heart patient, the device must be sterile. Failure to sterilize can cause life-threatening infections and cause the body to reject the pacemaker.

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia is commonly used in surgery requiring hospitalization as well as outpatient procedures. Anesthesia errors can be devastating, especially when medical history is not evaluated or the patient is not properly monitored.

If proper protocol isn't precisely followed, such as knowledge of a patient's known allergies, or preexisting conditions, the patient can suffer. Anything from drug interactions, brain damage from a lack of oxygen, organ failure, heart attacks, and even allergic reactions can occur from improper anesthesia use.

Surgical Errors

With the number of surgeries performed, surgical errors are a very common reason for medical malpractice lawsuits. Medical technology has reduced the risks associated with surgeries over the decades, but technology cannot completely eliminate human error. A patient who has to undergo surgery risks the potential for surgical errors by the surgeon. 

Leaving surgical tools inside the body such as clamps, drains, retractors, cotton swabs, and surgical sponges can result in severe consequences. Performing surgery on the wrong patient, often as a result of not double-checking the patient’s identity prior to surgery, and even surgery on the wrong area of the body can occur. Another type of surgical error includes unnecessary surgeries without exhausting other treatment options, often a result of doctors not staying up-to-date on the latest research. This is extremely common with knee surgeries.

Contact us to discuss your medical malpractice claim. Alexander Law Group, PLC has the expertise and experience to get you the compensation you deserve if you've suffered due to medical malpractice.