It is the duty of a doctor or a healthcare professional to provide optimal care to the patient. Mistakes happen and cannot always be avoided but medical malpractice is when the doctor or healthcare practitioner does not provide appropriate treatment or does not take the appropriate action or gives below the standard intervention or management which results in hurting the patient, causing them injury or even death.
When is it classified as medical malpractice?
Not all the harm incurred by a patient is the responsibility of the doctor, if the patient is injured or harmed because the doctor or healthcare professional did not treat or manage the patient appropriately or did not render the care, they were expected to deliver is considered malpractice or negligence.
This negligence can occur in the field of diagnosis, treatment, in patient or outpatient care or after care. And if a patient is subject to any negligence or malpractice, they can contact a medical negligence lawyer and appropriate action can be taken.
For it to be considered malpractice the doctor or health care professional should have:
Failed to give standard care
Any healthcare professional is expected to follow some standard when dealing with patients. There is a set of codes and guidelines that they have to adhere to. If they neglect to provide this care this would fall under the failure to provide standard care
Harmed due to negligence
The patient should have been harmed or injured due to negligence. If the patient feels that the health care professional had been negligent but there was no injury or harm due to this his malpractice claim is not valid.
Caused injury resulting in some damage
The patient must have an injury or harm that occurred due to medical negligence and has led to damaging consequences, these consequences could be constant pain, hardship, suffering, loss of income or disability
Only dissatisfaction with the form of intervention or management is not considered malpractice the patient should have been harmed or injured while delivering the service.
The most common medical malpractices are,
Not diagnosing the condition or delaying diagnosis
A doctor is expected to diagnosis the condition properly and on time because this would decide the patient’s management method. When the doctor diagnoses the patient’s condition for something else, the patient is directed to the wrong care and treatment which would affect his quality of life. Delaying the diagnosis is another problem prompt diagnosis is required to deliver the right care appropriately.
There are many child birth injuries that occur due to improper care like cerebral palsy, Erbs palsy, but these can be due to something else too. The most important area where the medical professional can be ignorant is during the prenatal care, failing to diagnose certain birth defects, if the mother has any other condition that needs to be addressed, failing to identify disease that can be contagious.
Medication errors, errors during anaesthesia and errors during surgery are other types of common errors.