The 7 Most Common Hospital Malpractices

November 19, 2019 • By Benjamin Wilson
The estimated reading time is 6 minutes

According to research, 250 000 people die every year from medical malpractice. This makes hospital malpractices the third leading cause of death in the United States. 

Hospital malpractices happen when a doctor or nurse provides you with poor quality treatment that could cost you your health or even your life.

All doctors make some mistakes during the course of their careers; however, if they are being negligent or going outside their scope of practice, this is classified as malpractice.

Thankfully, there are attorneys that specialize in hospital malpractices, but of course, it is good to avoid this type of situation as best as you can. 

So the problem is, how can you avoid being the victim of medical malpractice? The answer is knowing what the most common types of malpractice are so you know when to be extra cautious with your treatment. 

Keep on reading to learn the seven most common types of malpractice so you can stay safe.

  1. Medication Errors

Medication can heal you from some of the worst infections and conditions out there. However, if wrongfully prescribed, medication can also kill you.

There are approximately 250,000 medication-related deaths every single year in the United States alone. 

There are many circumstances that lead to medication errors:

  • The doctor wrongfully prescribed you an incorrect medication 
  • The doctor prescribed you the wrong dosage
  • Malfunction of the machine that administers your medication
  • The doctor misdiagnosed you, which leads to the wrong medication
  • The nurses administer the wrong amount to you

The most common medication malpractice relates to dosage, so do not be afraid to check in and question the doctor or nurse in regards to your medications.

  1. Childbirth Errors

Childbirth errors are the cause of many disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, Brachial Plexus Palsy, intracranial hemorrhage, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, klumpke's palsy, fractured bones, seizure disorders, and more. 

There are multiple scenarios that can lead to birth malpractice during prenatal care and childbirth.

Prenatal Errors

These types of errors happen before the baby is even born parent, and they can include the following:

  • Having a defect that went undiagnosed
  • Failure to diagnose a medical condition in the mother, such as gestational diabetes, hypoglycemia, anemia, etc. 
  • An ectopic pregnancy that is undiscovered
  • Failure to diagnose a disease that the mother could carry to the fetus

It's important to have proper prenatal care to lower the risk of these errors. 

Childbirth Errors

If the doctor is negligent during childbirth, this could cause permanent damage to the baby and/or the mother.

  • Wrongfully ordering a natural birth when it should have been a cesarean
  • Inability to use the forceps or vacuum extractor properly
  • Failure to respond to fetal distress
  • Inability to deal with a tangled umbilical cord
  • Oxygen deprivation

Before planning a pregnancy, check around for the right doctor that you feel comfortable with and do not be afraid to ask questions. Thankfully, birth injury laws can protect you in the unfortunate case of malpractice.

  1. Misdiagnosis

If your doctor wrongfully diagnosed you, it could cause you many future problems if the diagnosis is not corrected. For example, if you are diagnosed with the flu but you really have celiac disease, the time it takes to correct this diagnosis could harm your intestinal system.

The most common misdiagnoses are Lyme disease, heart attacks, celiac disease, cancer, strokes, Pulmonary embolism, and thyroid conditions.

The scary part about misdiagnosis is that wrongfully prescribed medication or treatment could harm you when you do not have the condition that needs it.

  1. Anesthesia Errors

One wrong move by an anesthesiologist and you could have permanent brain damage, permanent injury, or even death. This can happen even before you are administered the anesthesia.

For example, you have any medications that counteract anesthesia, or you may have any family history of reactions to it. Knowing your medical history is imperative to prevent any mistakes.

Other errors include the negligence to inform you of any possible risks or pre-surgical instructions, giving too much anesthesia, equipment malfunction, failure to monitor vital signs, and improperly intubating a patient.

  1. Delayed Diagnosis

A delayed diagnosis could also cost you serious implications for your life. If you have cancer but you have been diagnosed with a muscle strain, it could be too late by the time they figure out it was cancer. 

If you feel that you were not adequately diagnosed and that your doctor did not spend enough time investigating your symptoms, you could be a victim of delayed diagnosis malpractice. Never be afraid to ask multiple questions if you feel that your doctor has not been thorough enough with your diagnosis.

  1. Hospital Infections

Hospitals are full of pathogens, viruses, and funguses. Unfortunately, negligence can cause those pathogens to be transferred around the hospital. If the doctors or nurses are not following cleanliness protocols, this can lead to you receiving an infection or bacterium.

If you have an infection within 48 hours of admission, or within 30 days of recovery, you could have possibly contracted it in the hospital. 

  1. Surgical Errors

Surprisingly, surgical errors are not the most common malpractice. However, they do happen. Surgical errors are dangerous and could cost you your life. 

Some examples of surgical errors are:

  • Damaging organs, tissue, or nerves
  • Failure to control bleeding
  • Using non-sterile instruments
  • Not being qualified for the type of surgery
  • Performing the procedure incorrectly
  • Negligence to follow the protocols leads to an unsafe procedure
  • Improper care before or after surgery, including poor pre-op instructions
  • Failure to monitor vital signs correctly

Do not be afraid to question your surgeon or the hospital before the operation. It is normal to ask how experienced your doctor is before you undergo a procedure.

Learn More About Hospital Malpractices

Hospital malpractices are more common than you think, so it is essential that you stand up for yourself and ask questions when you do not feel fully taken care of. 

You would rather deal with the awkwardness of asking numerous questions than the problems that could arise if you fail to do so. 

If you found this article useful, check out the health section of our blog for more articles like this one.

Benjamin Wilson

He is a fitness trainer and part-time blogger interested in nutrition and in leading a healthy lifestyle. He writes smart and inspirational articles on nutrition supported by scientific research and his own personal experience in the healthcare industry.
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