Medical malpractice cases, at least in Missouri and Illinois, are very expensive to pursue. In order to have a good medical negligence case there must be sufficient liabilty and damages. First, liability, there must be negligence by a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider (for more info see: St Louis Medical Malpractice lawyer information page). Second, the damages or harm to the patient must justify the expense and cost of pursuing a medical malpractice case. Meaning the patient's injury must be significant enough to make the case economically feasible to pursue. Permanent injury is typically necessary. Below is an article submitted to my website by a guest author discussing some examples of medical malpractice. Additionally, this blog has a Medical Malpractice Category for further information and other articles on this topic.
The results of medical malpractice are at best inconvenient and at worst, tragic. When you trust yourself or a family member to the care of a certified physician or other healthcare personnel, and they in turn, treat you with negligence and carelessness, you need a personal injury attorney to protect your rights.
Medical malpractice can alter a patient's life completely and even cause death. If this happens, there should be some compensation to the person or their family to help cope with this difficult situation. This kind of case is difficult to prove, so there needs to be proof that the medical error caused permanent injury in the patient.
Five examples of medical malpractice are:
1. Negligence when giving an anesthesia - Anesthesia given to a patient who has previously had a problem with that anesthetic. The patient may suffer liver damage or even die. The anesthesiologist has not brought enough oxygen and it runs out before the surgery is finished. Because of this, the patient has cardiac arrest.
2. Negligence when delivering a baby - If there are complications during delivery and a C-section is required, the doctor must not delay. The child could develop Cerebral Palsy as a direct result of the delay. Failing to diagnose a baby with Rh incompatibility-antibodies .
3. Negligence for not diagnosing properly -- When a patient complains of chest pains, if the patient is sent home and subsequently suffers a heart attack that kills or debilitates, it would be considered medical malpractice. If the patient goes to another doctor and receives a correct diagnosis and treatment, the first doctor is still negligent; however, since the patient was properly treated and injury was avoided, there would not be any damages for which to get compensation.
A doctor failing to diagnose abdominal pain as appendicitis, with the result of the patient suffering shock and death .
Misdiagnosing cancer is also a case for medical malpractice. If a person sees a doctor about a lump or other cancer related symptom, the doctor must test for cancer. If the doctor fails to test for cancer and, because of this, it is discovered later by a second doctor that the disease has spread to other parts of the body, the first doctor is liable.
4. Negligence in prescribing medication -- If a patient's prescribed medication is inadequate or even the wrong one and the doctor does not change the medication, the result could be long-term damage or death. Even if the correct medication is prescribed, a healthcare provider may give the wrong drug. If, as a result of this, the patient suffers permanent damage from a reaction to the wrong drug, it is medical malpractice.
5. Negligence for obtaining informed consent - the doctor is responsible to get prior informed consent from patients before they give medical care including surgery, treatments and other procedures. This means the doctor must inform the patient of any possible negative outcomes due to the medical procedure such as paralysis or loss of function. An injury lawyer should be consulted so the patient, or in the case of death, the family can receive compensation from the person or institution responsible.
BIO of Guest Author:
David Benowitz is one of the founding partners of Price Benowitz LLP and selected as one of the Top 100 attorneys of Washington, DC by the National Trial Lawyers association. He has more than 13 years of experience as a Washington, DC attorney and is licensed to practice law as Maryland injury attorney. David Benowitz spent his career fighting for the rights of his clients.