Medical malpractice refers to a situation when a hospital, doctor or any health professional working on behalf of a hospital, surgery, clinic or any other health institution causes an injury to or exposes the life of a patient to danger, which could result in the patient’s death or long-term health complications. This can be done by negligent behavior or errors of omission by the practicing professional.
In determining medical malpractice, three fundamental issues or conditions must be clearly satisfied. The three conditions are that there must be a clear violation of the standard of care, a clear indication that an injury was caused by negligence and a clear indication that the injury resulted in significant damages. Take a look at medical negligence cases in Houston, Texas for more examples.
Violation of the standard of care
By law, certain medical standards must be upheld, failure to do so might result in prosecution. Even though the standards may differ across countries, doctors or medical practitioners are expected to provide a standard care to patients as prescribed by the laws governing medical practitioners.
An injury resulting from negligence
If the patient is injured during an operation and can prove that the injury was due to negligent behavior, then the medical practitioner will be held liable for the injuries.
The injury has resulted in far-reaching damages.
Far-reaching damages as a result of a medical malpractice does not only include death of the patient. These also include permanent loss of income, permanent or long-term loss of the ability to perform basic duties or disability, suffering and hardship and permanent unusual pain. This should however be proved to be as a result of the negligent behavior of a medical practitioner that attended you.
Examples of medical malpractice
1. WRONG PRESCRIPTIONS
If a medical practitioner writes a wrong prescription for the patient, that will be medical malpractice. This has far-reaching consequences as it may result in death or continued sickness to the patient.
2. PREMATURE DISCHARGE
This is a common malpractice, especially in struggling third world countries hospitals. This, however, could result in the revival of the disease, resulting in further complications that could result in the death of the patient.
3. FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE
Medical practitioners are expected to identify the root of their patients’ sickness. Pointing at the wrong cause is, by the basic medical practice, a violation of the medical standards as required by the law.
4. IGNORING OR MISINTERPRETING LABORATORY RESULTS
Laboratory results are supposed to help the medical practitioner diagnose and come up with a proper prescription for the patient. Ignoring or misreading them could lead to the issuance of a wrong prescription to the patient.
5. UNNECESSARY SURGERY
Taking a patient to the theatre while he or she was not ready for it, physically, or when the sickness did not warrant such a move, could result in the worsening of the patient’s condition. This will go down as medical malpractice, prosecutable by law.
6. POOR FOLLOW UP WITH THE PATIENT
Patience usually goes through a healing process that lasts for days or months in some cases. Thus, it is the duty of the medical practitioner to make sure that he or she put in place proper mechanisms for follow-up care
Medical malpractice remains common in third world countries where individuals possess little knowledge on how to report such cases.