Most Common Causes of Medical Malpractice
When you or a loved one are injured, feeling unwell, or in need of treatment for a chronic illness, you trust that your medical provider will give you the best care so that you can recover as quickly as possible. And while most healthcare experiences are routine and result in an improvement in your condition, unfortunately, that is not always the case. You may be injured because of the conduct or actions of your healthcare provider, becoming a victim of medical malpractice.
Under Nevada law, professional negligence, or medical malpractice, is defined as “the failure of a provider of health care, in rendering services, to use the reasonable care, skill, or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by similarly trained and experienced providers of health care.” The National Practitioner Data Bank reports that between 2020 and June 30, 2022, Nevada medical practitioners had 23,109 malpractice claims that resulted in payments.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Below, we discuss some of the most common types of medical malpractice, including dental malpractice, who may be most at risk, and what you can do if you are a victim.
The Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
According to Justpoint, medical malpractice cases from 2017 to 2021 generally fell into, among others, the following categories:
- 26% of claims were related to failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis.
- 24% of claims were related to surgery.
- 28.5% of claims were related to improper treatment.
- 5.1% were related to adverse reactions to medication and anesthesia.
Improper Treatment Claims
Improper or unnecessary treatment typically occurs when a physician misdiagnoses a patient or is negligent in the care they provide. An unnecessary or wrong treatment for your condition can cause additional injury and complications.
Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis Claims
The most common type of medical malpractice claim is diagnose-related. Failure to diagnose occurs when a medical professional does not diagnose a serious disease for an unreasonable amount of time, leading to significant harm and injury, including death, because a patient misses the opportunity for treatment. An incorrect diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, leads to unnecessary treatment, causing harmful side effects. Cancer, heart attacks, and infections are the most misdiagnosed conditions.
Surgery Related Claims
Surgeons are the most frequently named physicians in malpractice lawsuits. Surgery is a complex medical procedure with inherent risks that the actions of a medical provider may further complicate. Operating on the wrong body part, leaving instruments behind in the body, or puncturing a major blood vessel are surgery errors that frequently result from a surgeon’s negligence.
Claims Related to Adverse Reactions to Medications and Anesthesia
In the United States, up to 9,000 deaths occur each year due to medication errors. They happen when a healthcare professional makes a mistake when prescribing or administering medication, such as using the incorrect dosage, administering the drug improperly, or missing possible interactions with other prescribed medications.
Administering medication to the wrong patient commonly occurs in hospitals and nursing homes. Receiving the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication can cause new injuries or complicate current conditions. Some patients have adverse reactions, such as anaphylactic shock, seizures, or cardiac arrest, because of receiving the wrong medication. Medication errors may even lead to the death of a patient.
Although less common than medication mistakes, errors while administering anesthesia, such as not monitoring vital signs or dispensing too much anesthesia, occur more frequently during major surgery.
What Type of Medical Professional Is Named Most Frequently in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
It is important to note that not all medical mistakes result in harm or injury that require filing a medical malpractice claim. However, for some physicians and medical providers, mistakes or errors commonly result in malpractice lawsuits. Gallagher reports that surgeons, particularly those in the following specialties, have higher rates of medical malpractice lawsuits than other physicians:
- Orthopedic surgery.
- General surgery.
- Obstetrics & gynecology major surgery.
What Is Dental Malpractice?
Like other medical professionals, dentists and dental professionals have a legal duty to provide patients with quality medical care. In Nevada, failing to provide sufficient, quality dental care is a form of medical malpractice. Some of the common causes of dental malpractice are:
- Removing or treating the wrong tooth.
- Using unsterilized equipment.
- Making errors with anesthesia.
- Performing unnecessary surgery or procedures.
- Failing to diagnose a problem or provide timely treatment.
- Causing nerve damage.
- Failing to obtain informed consent from a patient.
Factors That Increase Your Risk of Being a Victim of Medical Malpractice
While no one plans to for it, when receiving healthcare, several factors are likely to increase your risk of suffering an injury due to medical malpractice, such as:
- Receiving major surgery.
- Being a patient in a hospital or nursing home.
- Receiving emergency medical care.
- Being a patient of a medical professional who is over the age of 55.
- Being a patient of a medical professional who is not following professional guidelines and standards for their specialty.
- Being treated by a healthcare provider with a large caseload or many patients.
How We Can Help You with Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
You and your family may feel devastated and confused if the negligence of a healthcare professional has caused you injury. Here at De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, our attorneys understand that your case is unique and requires the highest level of professionalism and extensive knowledge of Nevada personal injury law. We handle every step of the medical malpractice claim process for you. We can help you obtain compensation for the following:
- The cost of medical treatment, including physical therapy.
- Wages lost because of your injury.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional and mental distress you have experienced.
- Wrongful death.
Contact us online or call 702-803-3849 for a free consultation. Our knowledgeable and dedicated bilingual team has provided Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, and Summerlin residents with high-quality, aggressive, dependable personal injury law representation for almost 20 years.
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