Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional breaches their duty of care resulting in an injury or death to the patient. There are various types of medical malpractice claims, but some happen more frequently than others. Six of the most common medical malpractice claims in Sugar Land, Texas are listed below.
Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis
Diagnosing the wrong condition or failing to diagnose a condition for a certain period of time is one of the leading types of medical malpractice claims in Texas. Misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis can have serious consequences. The patient might miss treatment opportunities that could have prevented serious harm or death, or it could lead to the prescription of treatment that is not appropriate for the patient and results in harm. These errors can happen if a physician:
• fails to recognize clinical signs and symptoms,
• fails to order proper medical testing,
• loses or mislabels test results, or
• fails to refer a patient to a specialist.
Cancer, fractures, cardiac conditions, and myocardial infarctions are among the leading medical conditions in diagnosis-related malpractice claims. To succeed on these claims, the plaintiff must prove that a reasonably skilled and competent doctor would not have made the same diagnosis mistakes.
Medical malpractice claims involving childbirth include injuries suffered by the fetus during pregnancy, the child during the birth process, and the mother during the pregnancy and birth. Examples of childbirth-related medical malpractice claims include:
• Failing to diagnose a medical condition of the mother (such as preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility, hypoglycemia, anemia, or gestational diabetes);
• Failing to diagnose a birth defect;
• Failing to anticipate a birth complication (i.e., the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck);
• Missing signs of fetal distress;
• Improper use of forceps or excessive force removing a baby from the birth canal; or
• Failing to perform a C-section when necessary.
Childbirth mistakes are serious and can potentially affect the child for their entire life.
The majority of Texans take at least one prescription drug, and medication errors are a common type of medical malpractice claim. Medication errors occur in various ways, including:
• Prescribing the wrong drug for a diagnosed condition;
• Administering an improper dosage of the drug (either too much or too little);
• Administering the medication inappropriately;
• Failing to notice a potentially harmful drug interaction;
• Administering the drug to the wrong patient; and
• Failing to recognize signs of addiction, abuse, or overdose that can increase health risks.
The harm from a medication error ranges in severity from a mild allergic reaction to the loss of life. Drugs frequently involved in these claims include anticoagulants, opioids, antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs, steroids, and psychotropic drugs.
Anesthesia errors, though not as common as some other types of medical malpractice claims, are often extremely dangerous to the patient. Even a small mistake can cause permanent injury, brain damage, or death. Examples of anesthesia errors include:
• Failing to investigate the patient’s medical history for potential complications;
• Failing to inform the patient of necessary preoperative procedures (for example, not eating for a specific amount of time);
• Administering too much anesthesia;
• Failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs; and
• Using defective equipment.
When you are getting an elective or emergency surgery, the medical professionals in the room have a duty to protect you from harm. They are required to properly communicate vital patient information to each other to avoid errors. Surgical errors can cause serious harm, including permanent injury or death. Some common examples of surgical errors include:
a. Puncturing an organ or blood vessel;
b. Operating on the wrong body part;
c. Leaving surgical equipment in the body; and
d. Failure to follow accepted medical practices before, during, and after the surgery.
The large majority of surgical error claims involve allegations about the doctor’s performance during the procedure.
Failure to Treat
When a doctor negligently fails to provide proper treatment, they violate the accepted standard of care. Common examples of failure to treat claims include:
• Releasing a patient too soon from the hospital;
• Failing to provide instructions for follow-up care; and
• Failing to order appropriate medical tests
These claims frequently occur when a physician is caring for more patients than they can handle.
Your Sugar Land Medical Malpractice Attorney
Adam Capetillo is an experienced Sugar Land medical malpractice attorney passionate about protecting the rights of his clients. If you believe that you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, we encourage you to call our office today at (346) 444-1299 to schedule a free consultation.