Researchers at John Hopkins University say that medical malpractice is now the third leading cause of death in New Jersey. Understanding the different types of malpractice is the first step in finding a solution.
Wrong and delayed diagnoses
Misdiagnoses occur when the doctor tells the patient that they have something wrong with them that they do not have. In contrast, delayed diagnoses happen when the doctor misses an underlying health condition. In either one, a different doctor finally makes the right call, but it is often too late for patients, especially those with chronic health problems.
Failure to treat
Failure to treat is a type of medical malpractice that occurs when the doctor fails to order appropriate tests or does not send the patient for specialized care. For example, it can happen when the doctor recognizes a medical condition but fails to provide adequate care. It also occurs when the doctor fails to recognize signs that a patient has a particular health condition, so they do nothing to treat it.
Birth-related medical issues can lead to chronic illnesses in the mother or the baby. Medical malpractice also occurs when the doctor fails to spot potential health conditions in the womb and fails to inform the parents of those conditions, so they can decide if they want to end the pregnancy.
The United States Food and Drug Administration receives over 100,000 reports of medication errors annually. Several medication errors can occur, including:
- Improper dosing
- Wrong drug
- Incorrect route of administration
- Wrong dose times
- Wrong patient
Surgical errors occur when the doctor operates on the wrong body part. They can also happen when the medical team operates on the wrong person. These errors occur at least 4,000 times annually in the United States. Often, these errors happen because medical schools train doctors to take tests instead of developing a good bedside manner.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare worker makes a mistake. Victims of malpractice may be entitled to financial compensation.