When we are seriously ill or injured, we trust the medical team at the hospital to help us get better. Unfortunately, most of the time we don’t realize that the same doctors can actually cause us serious injury or even death.
Medical malpractice is a leading cause of death every year: the third behind cancer and heart disease. Canadian medical malpractice law allows victims of medical errors or their family obtain compensation for losses related to medical malpractice or negligence.
It’s important to recognize that doctors are human and can make mistakes but the consequences of these mistakes can be deadly. There are many types of medical errors that can lead to serious injury, death or a lower quality of life that are grounds for medical malpractice lawsuits. Keep reading to learn about the most common hospital errors that lead to medical malpractice suits.
Technical errors usually occur during surgery. This is when your surgeon accidentally punctures an organ or even cuts a major artery causing internal bleeding or resulting in death. Another common error during surgery is the leaving of surgical tools inside of a patient’s body. Other types of surgical errors can also occur when the wrong body part is operated on, for example, an injury affects the right arm but the operation is done on the left arm. Another way a surgeon can make an error is the inadequate sterilization of instruments or failure to create a sterile environment.
While the risks of surgery are well-known, your surgeon must take extra care and precautions when one wrong move or mistake could mean life or death.
Errors With Anesthesia
Anesthesia is a risky part of surgery, and it requires a specialist to administer it and monitor its effect on the patient. This specialist is known as an anesthesiologist. They will review the patient’s medical record, patient history, prior medications, allergies and time requirements of the operation in order to determine the best course of action. There is a level of risk associated with taking anesthesia and errors can occur from many factors but in most cases, negligence is the cause. The most common injuries caused by improper anesthesia include heart attack, spinal cord injuries, asphyxia, brain damage, coma and death.
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
While it would be unrealistic to expect doctors to know what is wrong right away, they are expected to administer the appropriate medical tests fully so they are able to locate the cause of pain. Some doctors are quick to make a general diagnosis through guessing, without running tests.
If they make a mistake then you could end up with no treatment or a treatment that cannot help your condition and, in worst cases, might even cause you further harm and pain. A delayed diagnosis can also severely affect your health and wellbeing. Other doctors will give you delayed treatment in order to “wait and see” but this can have a patient feeling worse and ending up in the emergency room.
Inadequate Medical Follow Up
Surgery is a serious and risky procedure so it’s important that medical staff monitor the patient afterward to ensure that the patient is fine. Patients will usually need assistance to make sure their vitals are monitored after surgery. They usually also need medications post-op to reduce the risk of infection. If the patient becomes sick due to a lack of post-operative care, the medical staff and hospital can be held liable.
Prescription Medication Errors
Medical facilities and medical staff often treat many patients every day. This can cause them to become disorganized and prescribe the wrong medications or give out the wrong prescriptions to patients. Doctors might also make a mistake when writing prescriptions or providing the wrong dosages. Prescriptions can also be filled incorrectly at the pharmacy.
When medication is not administered properly, the patient can overdose and possibly die. The patient might also suffer from a bad reaction to the medication if they happen to have an allergy that was overlooked, or if they already take a medication that is incompatible.
Doctors and healthcare professionals need to take extra care during the birth of a baby. And while this can be an exciting and joyous time for expecting parents, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if birth complications are not handled correctly. A majority of birth complications can be addressed before the birth if the physician is competent. Any failure to anticipate issues that should have been addressed can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. When methods or tools are used incorrectly, it can also cause life-long damage to the child.
Inadequate Prenatal Care
During pregnancy, an expecting mother should receive proper checkups and prenatal care leading up to the birth of the child. This ensures that the child is developing properly and that the mother will have reduced chances of risk during pregnancy and birth. Improper prenatal care can lead to long-term problems for both mother and child and may even result in the death of the child or the mother.
Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Canada Today
The expert lawyers and Sommers Roth & Elmaleh have helped Canadian patients win their medical malpractice claims for decades. We have fought and won a substantial number of serious medical litigation cases. Our seasoned and experienced medical malpractice lawyers work with top-tier medical professionals across the country.
To learn more about hospital errors, call Sommers Roth & Elmaleh at 416-961-1211 or contact us here.
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