When we receive care from a healthcare worker, we expect to receive professional, knowledgeable service. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare worker deviates from accepted standards of care and causes harm in the course of treatment. The consequences of medical malpractice can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. Such a crime can take many different forms. Below, we discuss three examples of medical malpractice and their potential consequences.
#1. Delayed Diagnosis
The first step to treatment and recovery for a medical condition is a correct diagnosis. However, according to a report from BMJ Quality & Safety, 12 million people are affected by medical diagnostic errors in the United States each year.
A delayed or missed diagnosis can greatly affect a patient’s treatment and recovery. This is particularly true if the disease in question is life-threatening or progressive, like cancer. In addition to cancer, some of the most common conditions that do not get diagnosed in time to prevent serious harm to the patient include the following:
- Heart attack and heart disease
- Blood clots/DVT/pulmonary embolism
- Labor and delivery complications leading to birth injuries
- Infection or sepsis
Many of the aforementioned conditions must be diagnosed and treated in the earlier stages. The failure to do so may make the condition more difficult—or even impossible—to treat. This can result in substantially higher medical bills for the patient, or even their wrongful death.
#2. Birth Injuries
A child’s birth should be one of the most joyful moments of a parent’s life. However, the experience can quickly turn sour if the child or the mother experiences traumatic injuries during the birthing process.
In fact, the National Center for Biotechnology states that there are approximately 1.9 birth injuries per 1,000 live births in the U.S. every year. To add insult to injury, most of these birth injuries are preventable when healthcare workers pay attention in the delivery room and respond to events appropriately.
Some of the most common birth injuries include the following:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Maternal wrongful death
A variety of medical errors can cause these birth injuries, including a healthcare worker’s failure to:
- Monitor the infant and mother for signs of distress.
- Respond to signs of distress appropriately.
- Order a C-section when necessary.
Since many birth injuries are caused by oxygen deprivation and involve damage to the brain, they can have life-long consequences for a child and their family. These children will often require long-term, live-in care, and may not be able to live independently.
#3. Anesthesia Errors
Although advances in modern medicine have made surgical procedures much safer, there is still a chance that once you go under anesthesia, you may not wake up.
Additionally, there is no such thing as a simple surgery. Even cosmetic surgeries have the potential to seriously injure or kill a patient if an error occurs during the procedure.
One common surgical error involves the improper administration of anesthesia. Anesthesia errors can happen in a variety of ways, including the following:
- Dosage errors: Too much or too little anesthesia can cause serious injury or death for the patient.
- Intubation errors: The failure to correctly intubate or monitor intubation can have devastating consequences.
- Failure to monitor: Everyone responds to anesthesia differently. Healthcare workers must watch patients’ oxygen levels and vital signs for potential indicators of distress while under anesthesia.
- Failure to identify or treat complications: Some patients may respond to anesthesia adversely. Healthcare workers must know how to identify and mitigate such issues properly.
Since anesthesia works by interrupting nerve signals in your brain and body, the incorrect administration of anesthesia can have serious consequences on a patient’s central nervous system. According to the National Center for Biotechnology, anesthesia is the underlying cause in approximately 34 deaths and contributing factors in another 281 deaths every year in the U.S.
Harmed by Medical Malpractice? We’re Here to Help
It can be difficult to move past an injury caused by medical malpractice. The physical, emotional, and financial tolls of such negligence can be monumental.
At Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, we understand the devastating consequences of medical malpractice, and we make it our mission to help the victims of this crime obtain justice.
We have a distinguished and long track record of favorable verdicts and multi-million-dollar settlements, and our medical malpractice trial attorneys have tried or settled thousands of cases regarding birth injuries, traumatic brain injuries, failures to diagnose, and more.
Call Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen at (866) 629-1061 to schedule a free consultation.