Five Most Commonly Encountered Examples of Medical Malpractice
Every year, patients in Georgia are the victims of medical negligence or malpractice at the hands of doctors, nurses, or other medical staff. While most of our medical providers maintain a high degree of professionalism and competence, there are still numerous instances in which medical errors and personal injuries can occur. Here are five of the most commonly encountered examples of medical malpractice:
- Wrong site surgery. Believe it or not, surgeons do operate on the wrong side or wrong organ. You can imagine the horror upon discovering that the wrong limb was amputated or that a healthy organ was removed by mistake.
- Foreign instrument left inside a body cavity. Most of these objects are surgical sponges, and surgical staff must conduct sponge and instrument counts with every surgery. Some patients retain these objects for months or years while suffering pain, bowel obstructions, problems healing and infections. These patients must later undergo emergency surgery, which can expose them to further infection and possible death.
- Misdiagnosis of cancer or other serious condition. A misdiagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis, of cancer, heart disease, appendicitis or any other serious condition can lead to a poor prognosis or rapid death.
- Wrong medication or improper dosage. Medication errors result from illegible handwriting, inaccurate transcription or reading, drugs that sound or look alike, a lack of patient or drug information and miscalculations in dosing. The wrong drug or dosage can lead to heart or organ failure or to an emergency situation that can lead to death or serious injury.
- Failure to monitor. Nurses, anesthesiologists and physicians must properly monitor a patient's condition during and after surgery. The failure to note a distressed fetal heartbeat or blood glucose levels during pregnancy can lead to birth defects or injury to the mother.
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