Medical malpractice occurs more often than it should. In fact, about 250,000 people die each year due to medical malpractice. And that doesn’t even take into account the number of people who escape death, but still suffer from an unnecessary injury or illness. That’s why we think it’s important to openly talk about the different types of medical malpractice. 

Remember the old adage, “Never lie to your doctor?” There’s quite a bit of wisdom behind that. Of course patients should be transparent because this can help doctors diagnose and treat more effectively. But what happens when you hold your end of the bargain, but your doctor doesn’t?

Doctor’s have a responsibility to meet the standard of care. If you’ve been met with neglect, it may be time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In this article we’ll discuss 6 of the most common types of medical malpractice. Keep reading to learn more!  

Doctors performing surgery on patient.

6 Common Types Of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals breach their duty of care to a patient. This can lead to serious injuries, illnesses, and even death. As you might expect, there are many types of medical malpractice. And it’s also true that medical malpractice can be hard to recognize. So keep in mind that this list isn’t in any way all-inclusive. 

But hopefully our list of the most common types of medical malpractice can help you determine if this may be the cause of your suffering. Let’s get to it.

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is a type of medical malpractice. Not sure what misdiagnosis situations are considered malpractice? Here, let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Your doctor makes a diagnosis that’s incorrect. For example, a doctor may diagnose a patient with cancer when they actually have a different disease. This can lead to painful and unnecessary cancer treatments.
  • A doctor diagnoses a patient with an illness they don’t actually have. In some cases, doctors may notice certain symptoms and piece the puzzle together as a specific disease. But it’s possible the patient is experiencing the symptoms but doesn’t have the disease. In a case like this, a patient may undergo unnecessary medical treatments. 
  • Delay in diagnosis. Due to neglect, it’s possible a doctor may not pinpoint the correct illness in the appropriate time frame. A delay in diagnosis means the disease may progress and the patient may miss their window of treatment. 

Failure To Treat

Failure to treat is a bit different than misdiagnosis. This is when a doctor comes to the right diagnosis but fails to follow up with proper treatment. 

Here’s what this may look like:

  • Neglect to refer a patient to the right specialist
  • Release a patient too soon
  • Provide an incorrect treatment plan that might worsen the patient’s health

Birth Injuries

Childbirth injuries are some of the most devastating malpractice injuries. Many mothers place all of their trust in doctors to help them transition from pregnancy to childbirth. But somewhere between that, neglect can occur. This can lead to lifelong injuries and millions of dollars in medical expenses. 

Common neglectful causes of birthday injuries include:

  • Infections
  • C-section complications
  • Improper newborn intubation
  • Labor/delivery errors 

It’s important to note that medical negligence can occur during the pregnancy stage OR during labor and delivery. It can even occur after. 

Surgical Errors

Many medical malpractice cases involve surgical errors. Examples of surgical errors due to negligence include:

  • Wrong-site surgery. This is when surgeons operate on the wrong body part.
  • Performing the incorrect procedure
  • Damaging blood vessels, other organs, or tissues during surgery
  • Using unsanitary tools and equipment leading to infections
  • Leaving surgical equipment inside the body
  • Not providing adequate recovery care

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors are infrequent. But they do occur. If an anesthesiologist acts neglectful, the repercussions could be devastating. This is a type of medical malpractice that can lead to permanent injuries, brain damage, or death. 

Anesthesia errors can look like:

  • Administering too much anesthesia
  • Failing to review a patient’s medical history to look for any complications
  • Not discussing necessary pre-op procedures with a patient
  • Using defective equipment
  • Not monitoring vital signs during anesthesia administration and surgery

Medication Errors

Medication errors are a common type of medical malpractice and can happen in many different ways. Serious complications can occur from prescribing the wrong dosage or even the wrong medication to a patient. Failing to recognize harmful drug interactions also falls under medical malpractice.

Negligent doctors types on computer.

Contact An Experienced Attorney

Medical negligence can take on many forms. The list above shows only some of the more common types of medical malpractice. If you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, don’t wait to contact an experienced lawyer. At Hampton & King, we specialize in all sorts of medical malpractice cases and can help you seek the justice you deserve.

Contact us today to set up a free consultation.