As a personal injury attorney in Saint Petersburg, some of the most devastating cases that I have come across are related to medical malpractice. There is something that makes injury, illness, or death even more tragic, when it was caused by a doctor’s o.rf health facility’s negligence. These are the people and places that we turn to when we need help, so when they fail us and cause a bad situation to become much worse, it is crushing. The worst part is that medical malpractice is not uncommon. There are thousands of cases reported each year. Here is a list of the most common types.
- Failed Anesthesia. What this means is that the anesthesiologist fails to issue the correct dosage of medications, or provides the wrong type of drug, and, as a result, a patient wakes during the surgical procedure. This can result in panic attacks as the patient realizes what is happening to his or her body. It can lead to extreme pain and discomfort for the patient, and it can even result in the surgeon making an error while trying to calm the person down. Some studies suggest that failed anesthesia occurs more than 40,000 times per year.
- Foreign Bodies. Most people have heard of cases like this, where the doctor fails to remove all of the instruments – scalpels, scissors, sponges, clothes, gauze, etc. – from the patient’s body before stitching the incision closed. The foreign material is attacked by the body’s natural defenses and can cause major problems. Generally, these patients will, at first, report fever, chills, localized pain, or confusion issues. However, the problem can quickly escalate in severity if it is not corrected. This can be a fatal mistake. It is not an uncommon scenario either. Mistakes like this are made quite frequently. Those at the greatest risk are overweight patients, those undergoing emergency/rushed operations, and those who require multiple surgeries to be performed simultaneously.
- Incorrect Surgery. There have been a couple of cases, at least, of this nature in the greater Petersburg area in the past. A doctor, after reading the notes in the patient’s chart, confidently approaches the Emergency Room table and proceeds to operate on the wrong side of the body. Hundreds of people per year will be victims of such unintended negligence. In fact, according to some reports, as many as 2,500 cases per year in the U.S. are entitled to compensation after the wrong area of the body is surgically altered. The compensation covers, among other expenses, the frequent need for repeat surgery and increased recovery time.
- Birth Defects. Known genetic defects, discoverable via ultrasound, and not mentioned to the parents, can result in babies being born with serious health complications, lost limbs, lifelong disabilities, or fatal illnesses. Families, and the children born with these deformities, can suffer for years, or for their entire lives as a result of a doctor’s failure to speak up. Other birth defects can actually be caused by delivery methods employed by doctors. They are far too common, and often preventable. The heartache associated with these diagnoses is obvious.
Medical malpractice is a form of negligence. It can leave the victims facing serious health complications, and it can claim lives. The courts aim to reimburse victims for their losses, in so far as they can. If you have suffered at the hands of a medical professional, you do have rights and you should seek legal representation from a personal injury attorney.