Medical Malpractice – Identifying Common Errors and Knowing Your Rights

By Peter DePaolis

Many people assume that they merely had bad luck if they had an adverse outcome from a medical procedure or a late diagnosis of a condition that could have been treated if caught earlier. Sometimes, these situations are actually bad luck, but not always. If substandard medical care caused you to suffer complications, medication interactions, or other unexpected results, you might have a medical malpractice claim.

This blog will explore medical malpractice, identifying common errors, and knowing your rights. A Virginia medical malpractice attorney could evaluate your case and help you hold the medical professional or healthcare facility accountable for the harm you suffered.

Medication Errors

Problems with prescription drugs can happen in many ways, including the following:

  • The doctor did not read the patient’s medical history carefully to evaluate if the patient has a medical condition or is taking another drug that could make the new medication dangerous or ineffective.
  • The pharmacist filled the prescription with the wrong medication or incorrect dosage.
  • The prescription bottle label has inaccurate instructions, causing the patient to make too much or too little of the drug.
  • The patient received the wrong type or dose of medication while in the hospital.

These are but a few examples of medication errors that can harm a patient.

Surgical Mistakes

The surgeon could perform the wrong operation on the patient, remove the wrong organ or body part, or leave surgical tools or materials inside the patient. Not following correct surgical protocols or post-operative care can cause the patient to develop an infection. Sometimes, the surgeon’s lack of experience or skill can cause an adverse outcome.

Diagnostic Errors

Diagnostic errors can include the following:

  • The physician failed to diagnose a medical condition that they should have noticed.
  • The doctor failed to treat a known medical condition.
  • The patient’s medical condition was diagnosed significantly later than it should have been, causing the patient’s treatment options and likelihood of survival to diminish.
  • The physician made the wrong diagnosis. This error can result in the patient getting the wrong treatment, as well as not receiving the treatment they need.

Diagnostic errors often go unreported.

Pregnancy and Childbirth Mistakes

Errors during pregnancy or negligence of the medical staff during the labor and delivery stages can cause fetal death, maternal death, or life-long impairment for the child.

Anesthesia Errors

When a patient undergoes general anesthesia, they are at the mercy of the medical staff to carefully monitor their vital signs, administer oxygen and the proper dosage of anesthesia, and jump in promptly if a problem develops. When even one member of the operating room staff is inattentive or careless, the patient could suffer irreparable brain and other organ damage or die.

Your Rights When You Are the Victim of Medical Malpractice

Doctors and other medical professionals are not held to the standard of perfection, but they are supposed to deliver high-quality medical attention to their patients. If a person suffers an injury or death because of substandard medical care by a medical professional or healthcare facility, the injured person might be able to file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit for their losses. A Virginia personal injury attorney can help you go after the compensation you deserve in your medical malpractice case. We offer a free consultation. Contact us for help.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.