When you seek professional medical help for a health concern, you expect to be taken care of. While most doctors and nurses do their best to provide their patients with quality care, mistakes still happen. In some cases, these mistakes have life-altering consequences for the patient. If a patient is not correctly treated, the medical professional may be liable for further injury. Let’s take a look at some of the most common medical malpractice claims.

1. Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose

In the United States, nearly 12 million people are misdiagnosed in an outpatient setting each year. Misdiagnosis is common because some illnesses have obscure symptoms or may share symptoms with another illness, and are therefore more difficult to diagnose. Without a proper diagnosis, it's nearly impossible for a doctor to implement a successful treatment plan. Diagnostic errors harm patients as they lead to delays in treatment, lack of treatment and even death. Extended hospital stays and expensive, unnecessary treatments can also create an insurmountable financial burden.

2. Prescription Errors

Prescription drug errors occur when a patient is given the wrong medication, wrong dosage or not made fully aware of the side effects. Many prescription drug errors go unreported by patients. Any number of medical professionals, including doctors, pharmacists and drug manufacturers could be held responsible for prescription mistakes.

3. Child Birth Errors

Nearly 20 percent of all medical malpractice suits are filed against OBGYN’s, more than any other type of doctor. Both the mother and infant can be victims of medical malpractice. Negligence during childbirth can lead to complications such as fetal distress, spinal cord injuries and postpartum hemorrhage (which is the number one cause of maternal death after delivery). Not all complications are unavoidable, but mothers and newborns deserve the highest level of care.

4. Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can include many different complications, such as incorrect incision site, wrong surgery site or leaving a foreign object (like a surgical sponge) inside the body. While some surgical errors are the result of a surgeon’s error, most are the result of poor preoperative planning. These mistakes can lead to infections, lifelong damage and death.

5. Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia can be dangerous if not administered properly. If an anesthesiologist doesn’t focus enough attention to a patient’s medical history or gives too much anesthesia, the consequences could be deadly. These errors aren’t relegated to operating rooms only. Anesthesia malpractice can happen in pre-op and recovery rooms, during sedation for dental procedures and other outpatient operations.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a medical professional’s mistake please contact The Cochran Firm. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers will fight to get you the justice you deserve.