How Can You Tell If It's a Case of Medical Malpractice? -

How Can You Tell If It’s a Case of Medical Malpractice?

By VSCP LAW

Many people who suffer from a medical injury often wonder, “Do I have a medical malpractice lawsuit?” Read on to understand the basics of medical malpractice and what you should be on the lookout for if you think you may have a medical malpractice case.

WHAT IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

Medical malpractice is a negligence claim in the context of medicine. This means that if you have been injured because of what a doctor, nurse, or any healthcare professional has done (or has not done, but should have), then you might have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. 

UNEXPECTED OUTCOMES

If you seek help from a healthcare professional to address a medical concern and after the treatment or procedure, you suffer from surprising outcomes, you may have a medical malpractice case.

For instance, let’s say you went to your doctor for a routine stent placement. The stent is intended to open up one of your arteries that was blocked. But when the doctor was inserting the stent, she punctured the artery, which caused internal bleeding or “hemorrhaging.” This hemorrhaging episode was an unexpected outcome of the stent procedure. Any time you suffer an injury after being treated by a healthcare professional, that unexpected outcome could be the basis of your medical malpractice lawsuit.

DELAYED DIAGNOSIS (OR FAILURE TO ACT URGENTLY)

There are many medical conditions that require prompt intervention by healthcare professionals. If you do not receive that prompt intervention, you could suffer catastrophic consequences.

For example, a stroke is when blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced. This is an urgent medical issue and requires a timely diagnosis. When the healthcare professional recognizes the signs of stroke and acts quickly, they can help restore blood flow to the brain. Failure to do so will lead to oxygen and nutrient deprivation in the brain, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

If a healthcare professional delays diagnosis of stroke and/or fails to act urgently, thereby delaying or withholding lifesaving treatment and disability-preventing treatment, they could be held liable for medical malpractice.

MISDIAGNOSIS

Healthcare providers often misdiagnose patients, which could lead to serious injury or death. Misdiagnoses could be based on misunderstandings of gender, race, or just a lack of necessary medical knowledge. 

One area of misdiagnosis that has gotten press lately is doctors’ frequent misdiagnosis of heart attacks in women. Because women experiencing heart attacks have symptoms that differ from men’s heart attack symptoms, doctors fail to recognize that a heart attack is indeed what the woman is suffering from. While men may often experience chest pain or numbness in their left arms when having a heart attack, women may experience nausea, stomach pain, or dizziness. Poorly-informed doctors misdiagnose women with menstrual cramps or indigestion rather than treating them urgently for the heart attacks they’re experiencing. 

Misdiagnoses can result in serious injury or death and, in those cases, the patient or their loved ones should consult a medical malpractice attorney immediately.

SURGICAL ERRORS 

Surgeons are responsible for doing exactly what they stipulate to and nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps they damage a nerve, operate on the wrong body part, leave a piece of surgical equipment (eg, gauze or scalpel) inside the body cavity, or they damage an organ. All of these mistakes support a medical malpractice action, as does any negligence by the anesthesiologist in the administration of the anesthesia.

If you believe you may have a medical malpractice cause of action, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at VSCP LAW (www.vscplaw.com).

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