Millions of Americans visit their doctors every year for regular checkups or answers to more serious problems. We go to our doctors because we trust they will give us the best care possible. Unfortunately, sometimes physicians don’t provide the care patients need, and are considered negligent.
There are many ways a doctor can commit medical malpractice. Continue reading to learn the five most common forms of medical malpractice in Texas and how a Houston medical malpractice attorney can help you.
Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of medical negligence. A misdiagnosis happens when a physician fails to diagnose a patient’s condition properly, and instead diagnoses them with the wrong condition. A misdiagnosis can also occur when a physician states that the patient has nothing wrong with them.
While some illnesses can be challenging to diagnose, misdiagnosis often occurs when a doctor does not:
- Order the necessary medical testing
- Recognize clinical signs and symptoms
- Refer the patient to a specialist
- Label the patient’s medical or lab data properly
- Evaluate the patient’s data correctly
A misdiagnosis can delay the treatment that a patient desperately needs and cause their condition to worsen. If the doctor doesn’t make an accurate diagnosis in a timely manner, the patient may deal with long-term effects and may even die as a result of the physician’s negligence.
2. Failure to Treat
Once a physician correctly diagnoses a patient, the next step is treatment. When a physician fails to give the appropriate treatment, they’re guilty of failure to treat. Some instances of failure to treat are listed below.
- Releasing a patient from the hospital too early
- Failure to order the correct medical tests
- Failure to provide follow-up instructions for medical care
- Failure to refer to a specialist for additional care
Failure to treat is often the result of a physician who has taken on too many patients and values profit over care. When a physician can’t give each patient the care they deserve, they are obligated to refer the patient to another physician who can provide their treatment.
3. Birth Injuries
A baby being born is one of the most sacred experiences for a parent. These parents put their child’s life in the hands of their doctor and expect the best care possible. Birth injuries can occur when the labor and delivery staff are negligent with the baby’s care along with the mother’s.
Birth injuries can occur due to:
- Poor prenatal care
- Failure to monitor the mother and baby during labor
- Failure to notice fetal distress
- Improper use of assistive devices during the birth
- Failure to perform a C-section when necessary
- Improper handling of the baby during or after birth
Birth injuries can result from negligence before, during, and after the birth of a child. A child injured at birth will likely require lifelong care, which can create a significant financial burden for the parents.
4. Surgical Errors
Surgery is a big risk for many patients, but ultimately they trust their surgeon to do them no harm. When the physician makes a surgical error, they can negatively impact the rest of the patient’s life and even result in their death. Surgical errors include damaging organs, using the wrong medications, and more.
- Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient
- Leaving medical equipment or devices inside the patient
- Administering the wrong amount of anesthesia
- Failing to provide follow-up care after the surgery
A patient’s surgical team must communicate with each other throughout the surgery to make sure that they have accurate information and are providing the best care possible.
5. Prescription Drug Errors
When a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or an improper dosage, they can cause a mild reaction in the patient or ultimately lead to the loss of a patient’s life.
Some common prescription drug errors are:
- Prescribing the wrong medication for the patient’s condition
- Prescribing the wrong dosage
- Prescribing medication that can interact dangerously with other medications
If a doctor writes the wrong prescription for a patient, the pharmacist who fills it also has a duty to double-check that medication. If the pharmacist is negligent, they could be held accountable for the error in that patient’s prescription.
Get Justice For Your Medical Malpractice Case With Help From Lapeze & Johns
A doctor’s negligence can leave you with long-term effects and endless medical bills. With Lapeze & Johns, you can take matters into your own hands. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can help guide you through your personal injury case and get you the compensation you deserve.