The term “medical malpractice” is used to describe situations where healthcare professionals breach their “duty of care” to patients. Such breaches may result in injuries, mental trauma, or even death. In 2004, Floridian voters passed the “three strikes law.” This law was designed to prevent doctors with repeated complaints of malpractice from practicing medicine.
Did this law reduce medical malpractice in the state? No. In 2017, out of the total 82,939 doctors practicing in Florida, 1.5% of them had faced malpractice complaints. A recent report from the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that 99% of doctors in the US face at least one lawsuit before retirement.
Their victims deal with various emotional and physical struggles that usually impact the rest of their lives. That’s why all medical malpractice victims deserve fair compensation. An experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Florida can guide them to receiving fair compensation for their troubles.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Florida is two years. If medical malpractice victims wait too long to consult a medical malpractice lawyer, the statute of limitations may expire. Here are the nine most common types of medical malpractice cases people need to be aware of –
1. Surgical Errors
Although rare, surgical errors inside operating rooms cause a lot of unnecessary hassle for patients. Some common types of surgery errors that may constitute medical malpractice are –
- Negligence in postoperative care
- Leaving medical tools inside the patient’s body
- Using non-sterile, unsafe surgical instruments
- Giving patients too much or too little anesthesia
- Damaging tissues, nerves, or even organs during surgeries
- Operating on the wrong body parts
- Giving the wrong medications
- Performing surgeries that aren’t 100% necessary
- Performing incorrect procedures
Surgical errors typically cause infections, trauma, and physical pain in patients.
2. Failure to Diagnose a Critical Condition (Misdiagnosis)
Another extremely common form of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis refers to the doctor’s inability to correctly identify and treat a serious condition. Patients could face life-changing issues because of their doctors’ misdiagnosis.
3. Delayed Diagnosis
Similar to misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis refers to situations where patients don’t receive the necessary treatment on time. A doctor may make an inaccurate diagnosis at first, only to change it after a while. Even the slightest of delays can cause life-altering problems for patients. To prove that you’re a victim of delayed diagnosis, you must verify these factors –
- The doctor assessed your condition incompetently.
- Other doctors would have diagnosed your condition very differently.
- Your doctor failed to see signs of serious issues or diseases on CT scans, X-rays, and other medical reports.
4. Incorrect Treatment
Similar to misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, incorrect treatment refers to situations where doctors fail to provide the correct treatment. They may diagnose a patient’s condition accurately but provide the wrong treatment.
For example, cancer mistreatment is quite common. Your doctor may prescribe treatment that’s no longer effective for your current stage of cancer.
5. Medical Product Liability
In some cases, patients suffer pointlessly because of the low-quality medical devices or tools used on them. For instance, a faulty IVC filter may break, enter a patient’s bloodstream, and cause a plethora of complications. In cases involving faulty medical devices, patients’ injuries are unfortunately way too severe before the faults are discovered.
Medical malpractice attorneys conduct thorough investigations to determine liability in such cases. From the manufacturers of the defective medical equipment to the hospital officials who authorized the purchases – they’re all potentially liable. Attorneys determine exactly where the malpractice occurred to create strong malpractice claims.
6. Pressure Ulcers
Although pressure ulcers (commonly known as bedsores) aren’t too serious, they’re common and can cause unnecessary health problems for patients. Pressure ulcers form on patients’ bodies when they’re left immobile in the same position for extended periods. Such acts are clear signs of neglect on the hospital’s or nursing home’s part.
Before these ulcers become infected and lead to more pain, patients must exercise their legal rights. All medical patients deserve to be treated with optimal care in hospitals. The last thing they need is pressure ulcers on top of their existing medical conditions.
7. Incorrect Anesthesia Doses
Anesthesiologists and anesthetists perform critical roles in the medical industry. They review patients’ medical histories. Based on this data, they give highly regulated doses of anesthesia to patients. Giving incorrect doses can cause brain damage, long-term injuries, and in some cases, death.
8. Dental Mistakes
Similar to physicians, oral surgeons are also prone to making fatal errors. Misdiagnoses, incorrect administering of anesthesia, and surgical errors – these are the most common types of mistakes that dentists commit.
9. Failure to Prevent Infections
In the US, 1 out of every 31 hospital patients suffers from one healthcare-related infection every day. The most common types of hospital-acquired infections are –
- Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Pneumonia (ventilator-associated pneumonia in particular)
- Bloodstream Infections (BSI)
- Entry of fungal pathogens inside the patient’s body
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
For people with compromised immune systems, any one of these infections can be a death sentence. Plus, a lot of the infections present in modern-day hospitals are called “superbugs.” These infections can’t be cured by traditional antibiotics.
In 2019, it was revealed that out of the 120 physicians in Florida who had three (or more) malpractice claims – only two lost their licenses. To create a better medical system in this state, we all must take medical license revocation more seriously.
That means partnering with an expert medical malpractice attorney whenever you or someone you love is harmed due to surgical errors, misdiagnosis, or other acts of medical malpractice.