The Most Popular Cases Of Medical Malpractice In The USA

We want to expect medical professionals always have a full grasp on our needs in providing care.

And yet, mistakes can and do happen despite the high standards of care in the medical field. When a medical professional fails to meet these standards, patients can suffer serious harm, including permanent disability or death.

Medical malpractice is a serious issue with devastating consequences. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the most popular cases of it in the USA and what we can take away from them.

1. Anesthesia Errors 

Anesthesia errors occur when an anesthesiologist administers too much or too little anesthesia, fails to monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgery, or fails to recognize adverse reactions to the medication. These errors can lead to serious harm, including brain damage, coma, and even death. 

One example of a medical malpractice suit due to an anesthesia error involved a woman who became comatose after a hysterectomy at the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. This case highlights the severe consequences of medical malpractice and the importance of holding medical professionals accountable for their actions.

Suppose you or your family are in similar circumstances. In that case, you can find a medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland to help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses.

2. Medication Errors 

Medication errors are when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or dose or when a pharmacist dispenses the wrong medication or amount. These errors can lead to serious harm, including adverse allergic reactions and drug interactions. Without appropriate intervention, these quickly turn fatal.

A well-documented case occurred in 2006 when actor Dennis Quaid’s twins received a massive overdose of the blood-thinning drug heparin due to a medication error at the hospital where they were born.

In another case, a patient received ureter surgery and was given gentamicin and vancomycin. Due to inadequate monitoring of creatinine levels, the patient suffered permanent kidney damage and had to undergo dialysis. The case was taken to court, and a settlement of seven figures was successfully obtained.

3. Wrongful Diagnosis Or Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. When a doctor fails to diagnose a patient’s condition correctly, they may receive the wrong treatment, leading to worse conditions that may turn fatal.  

According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine, the misdiagnosis rate for life-threatening diseases like heart disease is 10 to 15%. This margin of error is connected to around 100,000 deaths per year.

Fifteen diseases are usually misdiagnosed because diagnostic tests were not taken, results were incorrectly interpreted, or the symptoms needed to be more specific. Among these are multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.  

False positives on medical equipment are a typical form of misdiagnosis. Such is the case with Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old girl from California who was declared brain-dead after a tonsillectomy in 2013. The family contested the results of her electroencephalogram (EEG) and fought to keep Jahi on life support, claiming she was still alive.

Wrongful Diagnosis Or Misdiagnosis

4. Surgical Errors 

Figures from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that 19.1% of neurosurgeons face malpractice suits yearly.

Surgical errors can occur when a surgeon makes a mistake during a procedure, such as removing the wrong body part or leaving gauze inside the patient. These can have serious consequences, including infection, organ damage, and even death.

Celebrities like Hulk Hogan sued for unnecessary spine surgery, and Dana Carvey underwent a bypass for a different artery.

Fortunately, both lived to tell the tale. But famous comedian and actress Joan Rivers died during an outpatient surgical procedure due to improper monitoring under sedation.

5. Birth Injuries  

Birth injuries can occur when a doctor or other medical professional makes a mistake during childbirth, such as failing to monitor the baby’s vital signs properly or using excessive force during delivery. 

These injuries can have lifelong consequences for the child, including cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and other neurological disorders. In 2002, a woman in Washington, D.C., was awarded $144 million after her daughter suffered brain damage due to medical malpractice during childbirth.

6. Delayed Diagnosis Or Treatment 

Delayed diagnosis or treatment can occur when a medical professional fails to diagnose a condition promptly or provide treatment on time. It can have serious consequences, especially for cases that turn out to be severe.

In 2011, a woman in New Jersey died after a hospital delayed her treatment for several hours, despite showing signs of a heart attack.

7. Failure To Obtain Informed Consent 

Medical professionals must obtain informed consent from their patients before performing any procedure or treatment. That means that the patient must be fully informed about important details like the risks and benefits of the treatment, as well as any alternative treatments that may be available.  

When a medical professional fails to obtain informed consent, they may be held liable for any harm that results from the treatment. In 2007, a man in California was awarded $6.5 million after a doctor performed a prostate cancer treatment without obtaining his informed consent.

Hold Professionals Accountable

Medical misdiagnoses and malpractice suits have increased over the years. As healthcare needs skyrocket in the face of crises and aging populations, the need for greater caution in the medical community has never been greater.

Still, it’s only right for affected patients to hold professionals accountable for failing their trust. If you or a family member have experienced this, contact a law firm with experience in medical cases and discuss your options.

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