We rely on doctors to accurately diagnose and treat our illnesses.
When they don’t, injuries and death often result. If you suspect a medical professional made a mistake that has injured you, you might have a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
Below are the five most common types of medical malpractice we see in our law practice.
Careless doctors can either completely fail to diagnose you with any medical condition or diagnose you with the wrong condition.
As a result, you fail to get the proper treatment you need and, in many cases, receive unnecessary treatment that might end up injuring you even more.
Misdiagnosis, like all Georgia medical malpractice cases, depends on the circumstances. For example, if you do not tell the doctor all your symptoms, he can’t guess what you are feeling. A doctor must make a diagnosis on the basis of what they know at any given moment.
Prescription Drug Errors
A medical professional can commit medical malpractice by prescribing the wrong prescription drug or by administering the wrong dosage. Alarmingly, these mistakes should be easy to avoid. Nevertheless, countless people are injured each year through prescription drug errors.
For example, a doctor might prescribe a drug that has dangerous side effects, leading to death or injury. Also, nurses and other professionals could give you too much or too little, which can lead to injury. This type of malpractice is common in nursing homes where residents might take up to a dozen prescription drugs at once.
Many things can go wrong in the operating room. For example, you might suffer one of the following injuries:
- Wrong-site surgery: the surgeon operates on the wrong body part.
- Wrong-patient surgery: the surgeon performs an operation on the wrong patient.
- Implements left behind: a surgeon might leave clamps, forceps, or sponges inside you after surgery has been completed.
- Anesthesia errors: you might be given too much or too little anesthesia, or the anesthesiologist does not properly monitor you during surgery. For example, anesthesiologists are responsible for moving patients during surgery, so they do not stay in one place for too long.
- Infections: if staff does not scrub properly, they could carry a dangerous infection into the operating room. Hospital infections are deadly, so many patients might die.
- Failure to monitor: a doctor might fail to check up on you to see how you are doing after surgery. As a result, you might have developed complications or infections that go untreated.
After surgical errors, many victims need corrective surgery to fix the damage inflicted. This additional surgery not only takes its toll on your body but can keep you out of work even longer, adding to financial and emotional distress.
Labor and delivery can be traumatic for both mother and child. Both can suffer serious injuries when a doctor makes a medical mistake. Unfortunately, mistakes made during delivery can negatively affect your child long into the future.
Mothers are at risk of the following:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding
- Long labor
- Negligent Caesarean section
- Improper anesthesia during labor or Cesarean section
Babies can also suffer a host of injuries during labor and delivery, including:
- Injury to the nerves in the shoulder
- Premature birth
- Hypoxic brain injury where oxygen flow is disrupted
- Broken bones during an arduous birth
Some of these injuries, such as brain injuries, can lead to developmental delays and impaired cognition or speech for the rest of the child’s life.
Failure to Warn Patients of Risks
Doctors must give patients adequate information about the risks and possible complications of treatment, so the patient can give informed consent. For example, if a patient is undergoing heart surgery, they should be informed there is a risk of death.
To bring medical malpractice claims based on failure to warn, a patient typically must suffer an actual bodily injury.
Speak with a Georgia Medical Malpractice Lawyer
By some estimates, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States today. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at the hands of an incompetent or negligent medical professional, we want to hear from you.
At Blasingame, Burch, Garrard, & Ashley, P.C., we have brought many medical malpractice suits against doctors and hospitals, and we are ready to help you as well. To discuss a possible malpractice suit, reach out to us today.