Medical malpractice is mostly caused by negligence or inattentiveness by the medical facility providers or professionals like doctors and nurses. In other words, when a medical professional fails to perform the medical duties competently, it is called a medical malpractice and you are entitled to bring in a lawsuit against the person or authorities concerned.
A few prevalent causes that lead to doctor malpractice have been listed below:
- Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
The most common cause of medical malpractice occurs when the healthcare professionals are either unable to diagnose the problem presented by a patient or when they diagnose the problem incorrectly.
Misdiagnosis may occur when a patient’s case is rare and can be confused with a similar condition. This may lead to no treatment, wrong treatment or delayed treatment which causes serious trouble to the person at a later stage.
Failure to diagnose takes place when the medical professional does not take proper steps to identify a patient’s condition accurately. This results in an incorrect dosage of medication or, the absence of any kind of treatment administered to the patient. This can happen when the professional tries to skip a test, like an additional X-Ray or overlooks the test results.
- Surgical and Anaesthesia Errors
Hospitals frequently observe medical negligence in the anaesthetic department. Often medical officials make errors in the dosage of the anaesthetic being administered, in the delay of its delivery, failure to monitor the patient, prolonged the sedation; failure to respond to complications, and so on, which is categorised as medical malpractice. Several other incorrect negligent practices relating to anaesthesia add up to malpractice.
Apart from that, carelessness while performing surgeries can lead to surgical errors. These errors also include operating on a wrong site, blood clots, metabolic problems and poor nursing care. However, these errors can be avoided by doctors and nurses who follow proper procedures. These errors often occur due to a distracted or fatigued mind but nevertheless, they fall within the scope of medical malpractice, and you are entitled to claim damages for the losses caused.
These damages may either be provided by the hospital’s insurance company or can be tried in a court wherein the judgment is granted by a jury. When the aggrieved party turns to the court for help, it is commonly referred to as a negligence claim.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major cause of deaths worldwide. An estimated 200,000 HAIs occur each year across Australia. The existing medical facilities employ several invasive devices to help the patient to recover from surgery or illness. It is quite possible for the patient to acquire an infection through such devices as ventilators or catheters.
- Lack of Medical Supervision
Often, hospitals are unable to provide proper and professional medical supervision to the patients. Lack of required supervision is also negligence and leads to a higher risk of injury. Due to the absence of a nurse or medical assistant, often the hospital is forced to ask medical students or volunteers to supervise patients.
When a patient acquires an infection, the patient or their family must claim compensation within three years of the date of injury. The aggrieved patient must look for legal assistance with specialisation in such claims.
- Miscommunication Between Hospital Staff
When several doctors and nurses are taking care of a single patient, it is necessary for all the medical attendants to coordinate with each other and keep themselves up to date on the patient’s condition. It is important for them to work as a team to get positive results. When this does not happen, and incorrect information is tossed around, there is a high chance of medical malpractice occurring.
The patient, or the patient’s family, can claim damages in the form of economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses that relate to medical malpractice, lost income, and cost of rehabilitation. Noneconomic damages involve compensation for pain, suffering, and other intangible fallouts which have the same impact as tangible effects.
- Failure to Acquire Patient or Family Consent
In the case of major surgeries or treatments, the doctors need to disclose the treatment procedures to the patient or the family and gain their consent. This must be done when the treatment poses a high risk and therefore, should be communicated to the person or to their family members to help them understand the situation and decide whether to move on with it.
- Injuries caused by childbirth
Childbirth injuries often happen when the hospital fails to ensure that the patient is covered by another physician who has understood the case history of the patient when the primary doctor is unavailable. Another example of malpractice is when there is an excessive dosage of oxytocin being administered, especially when the baby is in distress. The doctor malpractices also include failure to identify congenital disabilities, inability to identify a condition faced by the mother.