Medical malpractice involves the failure of medical professionals to provide competent skill and care. It has resulted in a frequency of injury or even death due to medical error. One of the most common childbirth errors that result in various types of CP (cerebral palsy) occurs during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or post-delivery. The following are the most common medical errors that could constitute grounds for professional malpractice claims.
Errors during and after surgery may have affected a patient negatively. Some could lead to medical complications, infections, or even death. Types of surgical errors include:
- Performing the wrong operation.
- Carrying out a procedure on the wrong part of the body.
- Leaving a foreign object inside the patient’s body.
- Operating on the wrong patient.
Surgical errors can also occur after completing an operation, such as neglecting post-operation procedures and administration of incorrect dosages.
Surgical errors often result from poor planning before the operation or a surgeon’s actions, such as operating on a patient under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.
Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis
Research has concluded that many people who seek outpatient services in hospitals are victims of misdiagnosis because many illnesses have similar symptoms. Proper diagnosis is crucial for effective patient care. Correct diagnosis helps a doctor come up with the most effective treatment plan. Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis leads to wrong treatment leading to serious personal injury or even death.
Common malpractices involving anesthesia include;
- Failure to monitor a patient’s vital signs while under anesthesia
- Administration of too much anesthesia
- Failure to evaluate a patient’s medical history
- Use of defective medical equipment
- Failure to communicate effectively to a patient on necessary pre-operation instructions such as not eating or drinking before a procedure.
Anesthesia errors can easily cause permanent damage or even death to some patients.
Errors in the pharmacy department are prevalent but often unreported. Medication errors happen when the doctor gives the wrong prescription, incorrect dosage, and dangerous drug interactions before taking medicine. The pharmacist may also err when filling up medication, resulting in reinfections and unfair treatment.
Birth-related errors occur when a medical staff or a doctor acts negligently and causes injury to the mother or child before, during, or after delivery. Prenatal errors include
- Failure to diagnose congenital disabilities
- Failure to diagnose pregnancy-related medical conditions and any contagious disease that a mother could pass to the child.
Injuries that could result from negligence during labor and delivery include
- Failure to respond to fetal distress
- Not performing a cesarean section when the need arises
- Not anticipating possible complications from a baby’s size
- Failure to use vacuum extractors and forceps correctly and could harm the child or mother.
Postnatal malpractices include
- Failure to control excessive post-delivery blood loss and not effectively monitor the infant’s oxygen intake before and after delivery.
The consequences of childbirth malpractice include cerebral palsy, paralysis, brain injury, and bone fractures.
The person approach and the systems approach can explain the causes of human error in medical malpractice.