When you think of medical malpractice, you may think about surgical errors being the number one cause of malpractice claims. While surgical errors certainly top the list, there are plenty of other reasons why a person would need to file a claim against their medical provider. Most importantly, you need to realize that being unsatisfied or not liking your doctor has nothing to do with malpractice. Instead, malpractice claims are based on negligence and a physician’s inability to provide the standard level of care expected within the profession. If you suspect that your physician failed to provide you with the standard of care, contact a Chicago medical malpractice attorney to have your case assessed during a consultation. An attorney can determine if you have a valid claim and help you explore your options.
Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
In the United States, there are certain causes that are more frequent than others when it comes to malpractice. The four most common types of medical malpractice claims include:
- Misdiagnosis. This is by far one of the most common types of malpractice claims. A missed and/or delayed diagnosis can lead to devastating effects – including death. When a physician fails to diagnose a condition, the patient could go weeks or even months without much-needed treatment. Also, a misdiagnosis (a patient diagnosed with a condition that he or she doesn’t have), could mean that the patient endures treatments and tests that were unnecessary.
- Childbirth injuries. Another common cause of medical malpractice claims in the state of Illinois is childbirth injuries. These are caused during pregnancy as well as during the birth itself. It can be the result of poor monitoring, inappropriate birthing techniques, etc. In some cases, the injuries to the fetus can be severe and include long-term injuries like paralysis or cerebral palsy. Some babies are born with seizure disorders due to injuries that they suffered during birth.
- Medication errors. These are becoming increasingly common in the United States – especially as patients begin to rely more on modern medicine (and pharmaceuticals) to treat their ailments. Medication errors can include over-prescribing a certain medication (such as oral painkillers), underprescribing, prescribing the wrong medication, or using the wrong dose or failing to check for fatal side effects and/or dangerous drug interactions. Harmful drug interactions are common, especially when physicians fail to review a patient’s full medical history or inquire about current medications (including over-the-counter options) that he or she is taking.
- Surgical errors. Surgical errors are increasingly common, as well. These can include negligent errors like operating on the wrong limb, puncturing a blood vessel or organ,
leaving surgical equipment inside the patient, etc. Nursing staff can also be negligent inside or outside of the operating room – such as failing to sanitize equipment or failure to monitor a patient’s vital signs for postoperative infections.