Medical malpractice is a type of civil lawsuit that can be filed by an injured patient in pursuit of financial compensation for a harmful medical mistake. When a healthcare provider’s actions deviate from the accepted standards of care in the medical industry, resulting in injury or death to a patient, the provider can face legal consequences. Certain types of medical malpractice claims arise more often than others in Connecticut. The following are some of the most common medical malpractice cases in the state.
Millions of people rely on prescription and over-the-counter drugs to treat their medical conditions. If just one ingredient is off or the wrong dosage is administered, life-saving medications can become deadly. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, 7,000 to 9,000 thousand people die as a result of medication errors each year in the United States.
Many healthcare providers are involved in the chain of command when getting drugs to a patient, including a pharmaceutical company, doctor, nurse, pharmacy, and caregiver. If any one of these individuals makes a mistake, the patient can suffer disastrous consequences. Examples include drug overdose, adverse drug interaction, failure to receive necessary medical treatment, and fatal allergic reactions.
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
When a patient visits a doctor or emergency room presenting symptoms, it is a doctor’s responsibility to listen to the patient’s complaints, use his or her medical knowledge and training to create a reasonably accurate list of potential diagnoses, and recommend the proper medical tests to eliminate possibilities until the correct diagnosis remains. If necessary, the doctor must refer the patient to a specialist for further testing.
If a doctor makes a careless mistake and misdiagnoses a medical condition (or fails to diagnose the patient with anything), the patient may not receive the treatment he or she needs. A delay in coming to an accurate diagnosis could significantly impact a patient’s health prognosis. In a case involving cancer, for example, failing to identify the disease in a timely manner could mean the difference between life and death for the patient. If a person suffers a wrongful death due to a misdiagnosis of failure to diagnose, their loved on may be able to bring a wrongful death suit against the medical team.
Complications and issues are not uncommon during childbirth. While physicians such as obstetricians and gynecologists are not expected to prevent every birth complication, they are required to use the correct standards of care to address a medical emergency. Errors in how a birth is handled could lead to severe personal injuries to both mother and baby, including skull and brain damage, nerve damage, cerebral palsy, infections, and infant death.
Surgical errors can refer to dangerous mistakes made by a surgeon before, during or shortly after a surgical procedure. By law, a patient must give his or her informed consent to an operation before undergoing the procedure. Failure to obtain informed consent before operating is a type of medical malpractice.
During a procedure, surgeons, anesthesiologists and operating room staff members must adhere to strict protocols to ensure patient safety. Malpractice such as operating on the wrong patient, performing the wrong operation or leaving foreign objects inside the patient’s body cavity can lead to lawsuits.
If you or a loved one is a victim of any type of medical malpractice in Connecticut, contact a medical malpractice attorney. They may provide a free case review and legal guidance for steps to move forward.