The 5 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

The 5 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

by / Friday, 05 February 2016 / Published in Medical Malpractice
Doctor appearing frustrated while looking at clipboard

Whether you’re going to the doctor to see about a relatively minor ailment or going into the hospital for surgery, you always want to believe the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals you deal with are going to take good care of you. While most medical professionals would never intentionally harm a patient, they are still human beings and can make mistakes. Unfortunately, even small mistakes can result in big problems when a person’s medication and medical care are involved. Medical malpractice can come in many different forms and these are some of the most common types of medical malpractice claims:

Surgical Errors

Even minor surgical procedures can result in serious problems if it’s not handled correctly. Serious surgical errors can include wrong site surgeries or wrong patient surgery. A surgeon could accidentally damage nerves or an organ while working on something else. It’s also possible that a surgery might be performed with improperly sanitized tools or that a surgeon might leave tools behind in an incision. Despite the measures many hospitals take to prevent these sorts of problems, they are still too common.

Medication Errors

Medication mistakes can happen very easily. In hospital settings, it’s entirely possible a nurse might accidentally give a person medication intended for another patient. A pharmacist might not fill a prescription properly. A doctor might mistakenly give a patient medication that causes harmful interactions. An extra zero written on a prescription can result in a person getting too much of an important medication. But just because it’s easy for medication mistakes to happen doesn’t mean they’re acceptable.


When so many serious ailments have symptoms very similar to those of other not-so-serious illnesses, even medical professionals can mistake a patient’s illness for something it isn’t.  Unfortunately, in some cases, a doctor’s misdiagnosis can cause the real illness to get worse or force the patient to miss out on getting the treatment they need in a timely manner. Infections, cancer, heart disease, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, and tumors all often go misdiagnosed.

Childbirth Injuries

Despite how much progress has been made in making childbirth safer for both the mother and child, 6-8 out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States are born with birth injuries. If a doctor or other medical professional fails to diagnose a pre-natal or maternal illness, does not use medical tools properly, doesn’t take appropriate medical action in a timely manner, or misses signs that the baby is in distress, the results can be devastating. The mother may suffer long-lasting effects of a difficult labor while a delivery that gets mishandled might cause the the child to have a brain injury or an injury like cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, or Klumpke’s Palsy.

Anesthesia Errors

Fortunately, anesthesia errors are relatively rare, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have serious effects on a patient. In fact, they can actually be more harmful than surgical errors when they do happen. Anesthesia being administered incorrectly can result in brain damage, nerve damage, or death. A patient might be given an incorrect amount of anesthesia or a doctor might fail to give the patient important information about how to prepare for the surgery, such as not eating for a while before the procedure. In other cases, a breathing tube might not be inserted incorrectly or a doctor or nurse might not properly monitor the patient’s vital signs.

If you think you’ve been a victim of any of these types of medical malpractice, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Medical malpractice is a very complicated area of law and an attorney who has lots of experience in handling these cases will be able to answer all of your questions.

The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Goodwin & Scieszka handle other medical-related injury cases, like inadequate staffing cases and lab results reading mistakes. Contact us to see how we can help you be fairly compensated for your medical woes.