personal injury lawyers Melbourne

When to Contact Your Lawyer: 5 Common Types of Medical Malpractice

There is a lot that can go wrong when dealing with medical professionals, and not every issue is potential grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. That said, there is a lot that can be potential grounds for a lawsuit. Here’s a shortlist of the most common types of medical malpractice; talk to a lawyer if you think you or one of your relatives might have been affected by one of these.

1. Birth injuries

Childbirth is a complicated process and a lot can go wrong through no fault of the mother or the attending physician. That said, mistakes made by doctors and medical staff can also cause a wide range of birth-related issues and injuries, with some of the most common being nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, shoulder dystocia — which can lead to brachial palsy — and more. Failure to perform a C-section or failure to detect fetal distress can also be grounds for birth injury cases.

If you believe your baby has been injured due to a mistake or negligence on the part of the medical staff, get in touch with a birth injury lawyer. Birth injury lawyers often help clients deal with wrongful death cases as well, be it the death of the newborn or the death of the mother.

2. Misdiagnosis

As the name suggests, misdiagnosis refers to situations where the doctor fails to correctly diagnose a disease. This includes both cases in which the doctor claims the patient is healthy when they aren’t and cases in which the doctor diagnoses the patient with the wrong disease.

It’s worth noting that not every wrong diagnosis is grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. Doctors aren’t expected to be omniscient, after all. For it to count as malpractice, the doctor has to fail to do what other doctors would do in their situation, and when such failure leads to the patient being harmed in some way. In other words, the doctor has to act in a way that an average doctor would find unreasonable.

3. Delayed diagnosis

Even if the doctor does eventually get the diagnosis right, a delayed diagnosis can still be grounds for malpractice. Again, it comes down to whether the delay was caused by the doctor acting below a reasonable standard and it must have caused harm to the patient.

4. Surgical errors

There is a wide range of surgical mistakes that can be grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. Some of the most common ones include performing the incorrect procedure, performing surgery when it wasn’t needed, administering the wrong amount of anesthesia, using non-sterile equipment, and more.

Surgical procedures do carry risks of their own, so not every case in which a surgery causes damage or death will be grounds for a lawsuit. It comes down to the details of the case, the cause of the injury, and whether or not the proper procedures were followed.

5. Prescription errors

Prescription errors caused by neglect can also be grounds for malpractice lawsuits. These include errors such as prescribing the wrong medication, administering the wrong medication, giving patients the wrong dose of a medication, not warning the patient of common side effects, and more. These errors are more often than not caused by simple distractions or miscommunications between hospital staff.

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