Thursday, May 5, 2016

Common Clearwater Errors Leading To Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases arise when a patient is harmed by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals who fail to provide proper health care treatment. Fortunately, doctors, nurses, and hospitals make mistakes in a small number of cases but within that small minority of cases, there are certain common errors that occur more often than others leading to medical malpractice. 

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis in Pinellas County

Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis account for a large percentage of medical malpractice complaints. When a doctor misdiagnoses a condition or fails to diagnose a serious disease for some time, the patient might miss treatment opportunities or options that could have prevented serious harm or even death. The key in proving a medical malpractice claim based on misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis may be to compare what the treating doctor did or did not do to how other competent doctors within the same specialty would have handled the case. If a reasonably skillful and competent doctor under the same circumstances would not have made the diagnostic error, then the medical professional may be liable for malpractice.

In the state of Florida, section 766.102[1] of the statute provides: “[I]n any action for recovery of damages based on the death or personal injury of any person in which it is alleged that such death or injury resulted from the negligence of a health care provider as defined in s. 766.202(4), the claimant shall have the burden of proving by the greater weight of evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”

Childbirth Injuries

A number of fetal injuries can be caused by medical malpractice, including brain injuries such as cerebral palsy and seizure disorders, fractured bones, and erb's and klumpke's palsy (damage to nerves that control the arms and hands).  In many instances, these birth injuries can be caused by something other than medical malpractice making it necessary to speak to a skilled Clearwater medical malpractice attorney.         

Negligent Prenatal Care

A physician or obstetrician's negligence can happen during childbirth or long before. If negligent medical treatment is provided during the pregnancy, it could harm the fetus or the mother or both. Negligent prenatal care can include:

                failure to diagnose a medical condition of the mother, such as         preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility, hypoglycemia, anemia, or gestational diabetes

                failure to identify birth defects

                failure to identify ectopic pregnancies, or

                failure to diagnose a disease that could be contagious to the mother's fetus (such as genital herpes or neonatal lupus).

Negligence During Childbirth

A doctor's negligence during childbirth could cause injury to the baby and harm to the mother. Common medical errors during childbirth include the physician or obstetrician's:

                failure to anticipate birth complications due to the baby's large size or because the umbilical cord got tangled
                failure to respond to signs of fetal distress

                failure to order a cesarean section when one was appropriate, or

                incompetent use of forceps or a vacuum extractor. 

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia mistakes are usually more dangerous than surgery mistakes. Even a small error by the anesthesiologist can result in permanent injury, brain damage, or even death. An anesthesiologist can commit medical malpractice even before anesthesia is administered:

                failing to investigate the patient's medical history for possible complications, or

                failing to inform the patient of the risks involved if preoperative instructions are not followed (like not eating for a certain period of time prior to surgery).

Anesthesia errors that can occur during surgery include:

                giving too much anesthesia to the patient

                failing to monitor the patient's vital signs

                improperly intubating patients (putting a tube in the trachea to assist with breathing), or

                using defective equipment.

Medical malpractice cases are regulated by complex rules in the state of Florida so it is often essential to get advice or representation from a lawyer who has experience handling Clearwater medical malpractice lawsuits.

Call a Clearwater Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice lawsuits differ from other personal injury cases because they involve two intertwining areas of expertise: law and medicine. These cases are inherently complex and require the attention and skill of an attorney who is well-versed in both of these areas. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are experienced Clearwater medical malpractice attorneys who are prepared to review your case today.  Please call our office at 727-451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900