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Medical professionals are held to a high standard of care because patients’ health and safety are in their hands. The duty of care owed to patients requires medical professionals to exercise the same level of medical skill and care that other medical professional peers would have exercised under the same conditions. In other words, was the skill and care exercised adequate compared to the skill and care of other medical professionals with the same level of education and area of practice would have exercised? If the answer is no, that is negligence and medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s negligence causes harm or injury to a patient.

See below for a list of the most common medical malpractice claims:

  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose – In these cases, a medical professional diagnosis a patient with something that the patient does not actually have or the professional finds that there is no illness when, in fact, the patient does have an illness. This does not mean that every time a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose happens there is a case of medical malpractice. It is only medical malpractice if the medical professional was negligent in the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose and a patient is injured as a result.
  • Delayed diagnosisDelayed diagnosis is when a medical professional diagnoses a patient with a condition that was not initially diagnosed when the professional was first aware of the patient’s symptoms. In the case of medical malpractice, a medical professional negligently fails to diagnose a condition early on and as a result, the patient is injured. Typically, the failure to initially diagnose the condition causes the condition to worsen between that initial time and when the correct diagnosis is made.
  • Failure to treat – In these cases, the medical professional’s diagnosis is proper and accurate, but the treatment of the diagnosed condition is not proper.
  • Anesthesia errorsAnesthesia errors can lead to a number of complications including anesthesia awareness (patient is not kept in the intended fully unconscious state during surgery), coma, brain injury, and death.
  • Surgical errors – Many different surgical errors may occur including operating on the wrong body part, unnecessary operation, medical equipment left in body post surgery, and using the non-sterile equipment.
  • Medication errors – Can occur when a patient is prescribed incorrect medicine, incorrect dosage, or the medical professional prescribes medicine without understanding the patient’s medical history that would affect whether or not a medication is safe and effective for the patient.
  • Negligence causing childbirth injuries – Childbirth injuries (injuries sustained by either the mother or child) are a common basis for medical malpractice claims. Those injuries can be severe including permanent injuries or even death. Birth injuries can occur for a number of reasons in medical malpractice cases including a medical professionals’ failure to monitor and treat fetal distress, failure to monitor and control oxygen levels, negligent delivery causing spinal cord injuries, and failure to detect and control maternal hemorrhaging.

Injuries happen in medical care and they are not all a result of medical malpractice, but sometimes they are. If you believe or suspect you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney, Eric Weitz, to schedule a consultation. The Weitz Firm’s medical malpractice team has spent 25 years securing financial recoveries for medical malpractice victims including multimillion-dollar recoveries for some clients and we are ready to help you with your claim.

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