Medical malpractice happens when a doctor deviates from the expected standard of care. They make a mistake that shows they were negligent in some way. This means that not all mistakes or adverse outcomes equal medical malpractice. But there are certain errors that can occur where the doctor or other medical professional is found to be at fault.
These mistakes can have a wide range of potential ramifications. In some cases, patients are left with life-changing injuries. In others, patients pass away. Injured patients and the family members of those who pass away may wonder what to do next if they suspect that medical malpractice was the reason why.
Examples of these mistakes
To help show what types of things people should watch out for, here are a few mistakes that can be made in a medical setting:
- Retained items: After surgery, the surgical team leaves sponges, needles or other items inside the person’s body.
- Wrong site surgery: This can happen when the team operates on the wrong part of the body or on the wrong patient.
- Medication errors: Common examples are when someone is given the incorrect medication or when they are given two medications that have a dangerous interaction.
Failure to follow up: A doctor or medical professional may simply not follow up or monitor a patient properly, meaning that negative signs and symptoms are never seen.
These are just a few examples of how medical malpractice may occur, though every case is unique. It’s just important for family members to know what legal steps they can take if they believe they need to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party.