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Types of Medical Malpractice

Serving Medical Malpractice Victims in New Orleans

Given the wide array of medical care provided patients and the complexities associated with each type of care, there a number of different types of medical malpractice that can affect patients.  

ANESTHESIA ERRORSCleaning Surgical Instruments

General anesthesia is administered to make a person unconscious and/or unable to feel pain while certain medical procedures are performed.

Local anesthesia involves numbing a specific part of the body to prevent any feeling of pain during surgical procedures.

Anesthesiologists as well as certified registered nurse anesthetists are typically charged with ensuring that an optimal combination of general and/or local anesthesia is administered to the patient during surgery.  

Some examples of errors by anesthesiologist and/or nurse anesthetists may include:

  • Administering the wrong dosage of drugs
  • Administering drugs that interact negatively with one another
  • Administering anesthesia too late
  • Choosing to use the wrong type of drug
  • Failing to monitor vital signs
  • Failing to act upon changes in vital signs
  • Failing to use machines correctly
  • Giving a drug to an allergic patient
  • Turning off the alarm of the pulse oximeter
  • Using faulty equipment

EMERGENCY ROOM ERRORS

While the emergency room may sometimes be a hectic environment, medical professionals are obligated to uphold the high standard of care for their patients.  Medical errors by emergency room personnel may lead to serious and debilitating injuries.  Some examples of emergency room errors may include:

  • Administering the wrong type and/or dose of medication
  • Failing to diagnose certain medical conditions
  • Failing to properly monitor a patient after providing emergency treatment
  • Misdiagnosis and/or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition
  • Misreading a chart, x-ray, and/or other test results
  • Post surgical infections caused, unrecognized, and/or untreated by the facility
  • Surgical errors

HOSPITAL ERRORS

Hospital employees and staff sometimes engage in conduct that amounts to medical malpractice, for which the hospital can be held liable.  Some examples of hospital errors may include:

  • Administering the wrong type and/or dose of medication
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failing to diagnose certain medical conditions
  • Failing to properly monitor a patient after providing emergency treatment
  • Failing to send a patient to a specialist if the current doctor’s care is insufficient
  • Failing to order certain tests to determine treatment options
  • Misdiagnosis and/or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition
  • Misreading a chart, x-ray, and/or other test results
  • Misuse of medical equipment
  • Neglecting a patient to the point that their condition becomes unstable
  • Patient neglect and refusal to offer treatment
  • Post surgical infections caused, unrecognized, and/or untreated by the facility
  • Surgical errors

MEDICAL DEVICE ERRORS

Medical devices are often used to diagnose, prevent, and treat diseases.  Medical professionals are responsible for using medical devices properly to treat their patients.  If a medical device is misused, the medical professional may be found liable for medical malpractice.  

Manufacturers of medical devices are responsible for manufacturing safe products that are free of potential defects that could cause harm. There are three typical defects in a medical device that can cause injury and potential liability exposure to the manufacturer: 1) defective designs; 2) manufacturing defects; and 3) inadequate warnings.  If such defects exist in a medical device, the manufacturer may be sued  for such defects that result in injury or death.

MEDICATION ERRORS

Patients depend upon medication when they are ill.  Most patients assume the medication they are prescribed will have its intended effect.  However, if a medical professional prescribes the wrong medication and/or the wrong dosage, a patient can be left severely injured.  Medication errors can be caused by the error of the prescribing doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.  Such negligence may stem from poor communication, carelessness, and/or ineffective precautionary measures.  A medical professional may be considered negligent if they:

  • Carelessly give a patient the wrong medication
  • Fail to take a proper history before prescribing medication
  • Fail to warn of risks associated with medication
  • Give a patient the wrong dosage of medication
  • Give a patient an unintended medication

MISDIAGNOSIS/DELAYED DIAGNOSIS

Patients depend on medical professionals to timely diagnosis  illnesses so that treatment may begin immediately.  A failure to diagnose an illness timely and/or correctly can have a devastating impact on a patient.  When a patient is misdiagnosed, his/her illness has time to progress without treatment.  Common misdiagnosed conditions include appendicitis, cancer, infections, and vascular disease.  To recover compensation in a misdiagnosis lawsuit, an injured patient must prove that the medical professional was negligent.  Some examples of such negligence might include:

  • Failure to listen to patient complaints
  • Failure to take a proper medical history
  • Failure to undertake a proper examination
  • Failure to interpret tests correctly
  • Failure to order appropriate tests

OBGYN ERRORS

Every pregnancy carries the potential for unforeseen complications.  The manner in which medical professionals react to these complications can prove to be essential in safeguarding the mother and child from injury.  Negligent or reckless reactions by medical professionals can aggravate an existing complication or create a new problem all together.  If a medical professional is negligent during the diagnosis, treatment, or follow up care of a patient, the mother and/or child can be permanently injured.

Birth injuries can have significant, long term consequences on a child’s health.  Sadly, most birth injuries continue to affect children throughout their lives. As such, these children deal with the physical effects of these injuries for decades.  There will likely be significant pain and discomfort for the child and the condition might affect the child’s ability to earn a living and have the type of life you dreamed for them.  Unfortunately, the cost of treating such chronic injuries over the course of a child’s life can be extensive.  The lifetime cost of such treatment can easily reach the millions of dollars.

POSTOEPRATIVE ERRORS

Following surgery, medical professionals are required to monitor and provide necessary post operative care to their patients.  Medical professionals must monitor and treat patients for complications that may arise after surgery such as preventing and treating infections, monitoring vital signs, and prescribing necessary medication.  If a medical professional fails to properly monitor a patient after surgery, that patient may suffer a severe injury.  Examples of conditions that commonly arise from post operative error include:

  • Blood clots or pulmonary embolism
  • Infection
  • Internal bleeding
  • Respiratory infection
  • Sepsis
  • Staph infection
  • Tissue death
  • Undetected organ perforation

SURGERY ERRORS

Patients expect surgeons to proceed with utmost care and minimize the potential risks of a given procedure.  Give the complicated nature of most surgery, there are many risks associated with these procedures.  Patients are typically forewarned of risks associated with surgeries.  However, if a medical professional deviates from the expected standard of care and harms a patient, he/she may be liable for the damages they cause.  Some examples and causes of surgical error include:

  • Discharging a patient too soon
  • Disregarding or not taking a proper patient history
  • Failing to advise a patient of the risks
  • Failing to recognize symptoms
  • Failing to follow up with a patient after surgery
  • Inattention to the surgery
  • Misreading or disregarding test results
  • Performing unnecessary surgeries
  • Performing surgery on wrong body parts
  • Poor decision making under pressure
  • Unnecessarily delayed surgery

No law firm is better equipped to handle a personal injury claim stemming from medical malpractice than HHK.  Our team of medical malpractice attorneys is led by Dr. Joseph Kott.  Dr. Kott became board certified in neurosurgery in 1983 and maintained an active neurosurgical practice until his retirement in 1997.  Dr. Kott now practices as a trial lawyer in our firm and specializes in personal injury cases relating to medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, learn about your legal rights from an experienced Louisiana medical malpractice lawyer by calling 504-581-4892 or by filling out our free, no obligation case review form.



Herman Herman & Katz, LLC
820 O Keefe Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113
Phone: (504) 581-4892

Copyright ©2017 Herman Herman & Katz, L.L.C.

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