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The Four Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

Hospitals and doctors’ offices are supposed to be places of healing and recovery, but all too often, patients leave with worse injuries than they entered with. Medical malpractice claims are important tools injured persons can use to protect themselves in cases of negligence, but what are the most common claims made?

1.Surgical Errors: Surgery comes with its own inherent risks, and for that reason, many hospitals require you to sign a form stating that you understand the known risks of the operation you are about to undergo. Also known as informed consent, these forms do not cover preventable mistakes made during surgery, whether they were made by the operating surgeon or by someone assisting them. Some of the most common types of preventable surgical errors are:

  • Improperly administering anesthesia
  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Performing an incision at the wrong location
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Leaving a foreign object inside the patient, such as a surgical instrument or sponge
  • Injuring an organ, nerve, or other body part during surgery

2.Prescription Medication Errors: Prescription medications are often some of the most potent drugs available, and even a minor miscalculation can have disastrous results. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nearly half of all fatal medication errors affected people over 60 years old. Some of the most common errors include:

  • Prescribing an incorrect dosage
  • Administering an incorrect dosage
  • Equipment intended to administer the medication malfunctions
  • Prescribing the wrong medication
  • Administering the wrong medication
  • Improperly administering medication

3.Failure to Treat: A common way that doctors can be held liable for negligence is by failing to treat a condition according to the standard of care. This can be the result of:

  • Understaffed medical facilities
  • Overworked medical facilities
  • Prematurely discharging a patient
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
  • Improper follow up care
  • Dismissing symptoms as temporary, minor, or not worth treating

4.Misdiagnosis: Similar to failing to treat, misdiagnosing a condition or disease can lead to no treatment, or the wrong treatment altogether. Some ailments present similar symptoms, so it’s especially important for medical professionals to closely follow the standard of care in these cases in order to prevent improper treatment that could lead to a worsening condition. Some of the more common misdiagnosis cases include:

  • Failing to diagnose cancer
  • Diagnosing a chronic condition as a less serious one
  • Failing to include potential medical problems in their initial differential diagnosis list
  • Interpreting or conducting a test incorrectly
  • Failing to recognize an urgent medical issue
  • Failing to administer prescribed medication, leading to an incorrect diagnostic conclusion

Medical errors can be dangerous and terrifying issues to face when they affect you or a loved one. The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to face them alone. At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., our New York City medical malpractice attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to tackle any case. Call us today at (212) 577-9325, or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.

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