Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice may occur when a medical professional is negligent while administering care to a patient, resulting in the patient’s medical injury or death. It is required that healthcare
providers maintain a certain standard of practice. Thus, healthcare providers may be at fault if these standards are violated and a patient is harmed as a result. Various types of healthcare
professionals can be held responsible for malpractice. For example, doctors, dentists, hospitals, nurses and therapists may all be held responsible for malpractice. Negligence may occur when
a healthcare professional skips a surgical step, performs the wrong surgery, administers the wrong medication or medication dosage or even fails to attain informed consent. Examples of
medical injuries due to healthcare negligence may include: birth injury, brain injury, surgical error, pediatric negligence, wrongful death, misdiagnosis, orthopedic and cardiovascular
malpractice.

Birth Injury Malpractice

Birth Injury is a type of injury to a mother or infant that results from a trauma during pregnancy or the birthing process. Such injuries may include:

  • Traumatic Brain injury
  • Bodily injury
  • swelling of soft tissues of the baby’s scalp
  • bleeding under the cranial bones
  • paralysis
  • cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • brachial palsy
  • death of the baby
  • Failure to warn of pregnancy complications and risks
  • Inadequate response to signs of fetal distress
  • Lack of attention and proper care in high-risk pregnancies
  • Errors in administering medication
  • Failure to order a necessary cesarean section
  • Failure to prevent a prolonged labor
  • Improper use of forceps and vacuums
  • Improper handling of a child, such as pulling or stretching a baby during the birthing
  • process
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Shoulder Dystocia

During the pregnancy or birthing process an injury to the mother or child may occur. A difficult or traumatic birth can increase the likelihood of a birth injury. Several elements may
complicate the birthing process. For example, a breech delivery may force doctors to use instruments, such as forceps or vacuum extraction to aid in the delivery process. These tools
are sometimes misused, resulting in harm to an infant.

During the birthing process, it is vital that doctors and nurses make sure the baby has enough blood flow and oxygen to the brain; otherwise, severe and sometimes fatal injuries may occur.
Moreover, a cesarean section may be necessary to avoid injury to an unborn child, and a delay in performing a cesarean section may lead to a significant or fatal injury.

Birth injuries can occur before, during, and immediately following childbirth. Such injuries may include Soft tissue, skull, face, intra-abdominal, and nerve damage, which may result in both
short- and long-term injuries to the child. If proper and prompt care is not taken during this critical time and a birth injury results, the attending doctor(s) or healthcare professionals may be
liable for medical malpractice.

External Resources:
Birth injury http://birthinjury.org/
http://www.birthinjuryinfo.org/
http://www.birthinjuryforum.com
http://www.nica.com/what-is-nica.html

Hospital Malpractice

Hospital malpractice occurs when a patient is injured or harmed due to the negligence of treatment or care by hospital staff. Doctors, nurses, technicians, paramedics and pharmacists
can all be liable for healthcare malpractice in the event of negligence. Often times, a simple lack of communication between the medical providers and patients will lead to hospital negligence.
Some forms of hospital malpractice are listed below:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to monitor a condition
  • Failure to provide appropriate treatment
  • Failure to deliver necessary information
  • Attempt to mislead patients
  • Incorrect administration of medication
  • Unconsented surgery
  • Surgical negligence
  • Treatment negligence
  • Emergency room errors
  • Failure to diagnose cancer
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Wrongful death
  • Nursing negligence
  • Hospital negligence or error
  • Prescription negligence
  • Medication overdose
  • Post surgical infection

When patients are brought into a hospital, they are expected to receive the utmost care and the correct treatment. Patients are encouraged to ask questions about procedures, surgeries or
medications that will be administered, as well as the possible side effects to those procedures surgeries or medications.

External Resources:
Patient-doctor relationship: http://www.projectinform.org/publications/patient/
Institute for Safe Medication Practices: http://www.ismp.org/default.asp
Rieback Medical Legal Consultants: http://www.medicalexpert.com/
New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/
American Journal of Medicine: http://www.amjmed.com/
The Joint Commission: http://www.jointcommission.org/
Florida Agency for HealthCare Administration: http://ahca.myflorida.com/index.shtml
Florida Department of Health – Doctor License Search: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00profiling/searchform.asp