Older Adult Health Care

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Most Common Reasons For Medical Malpractice Claims

Physicians work hard to take good care of their patients. However, sometimes they make mistakes which can directly lead to serious consequences for the patient. At that point, the patient can choose to go through with a medical malpractice lawsuit in order to be compensated for the damages suffered. Between 15,000 to 19,000 medical malpractice claims are brought forth against physicians in the US each year. Here are some of the more common reasons for medical malpractice claims.

Inpatient Damages

The most common causes of medical malpractice for inpatients involve mistakes made during medical procedures. These make up approximately 1/3 of all medical malpractice suits for inpatients. Surgical mistakes can involve silly and strange instances – such as leaving medical instruments in the body – to life-threatening and serious instances – such as amputating the wrong limb or causing excessive bleeding. Inpatients may also suffer damages as a result of anesthesia, which can interact with the body in certain ways. This is why anesthesiologists need to pay close attention to a patient’s medical history and continuously monitor patients while they are under anesthesia.

Outpatient Damages

The most common cause of medical malpractice for outpatients involves misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose, causing them to seek out Help for medical malpractice. For adults, the most common mistakes under this category have to do with the diagnosis of heart attacks and cancer. For children, the most common mistakes are related to the diagnosis of meningitis. In certain cases, diagnosis of these medical conditions is rather difficult. They could have similar symptoms to other common ailments. Unfortunately, failure to diagnose serious conditions can be life-threatening.


Another common reason for a malpractice lawsuit has to do with errors made during childbirth. Approximately 20% of medical malpractice suits are filed against OBGYNs. Childbirth-related lawsuits suits are rather challenging, as a number of health issues may be unrelated to the physician’s actions despite any mistakes that caused serious medical problems.Three forms of childbirth-related malpractice lawsuits are typical, including injuries to the mother or child; wrongful birth where parents weren’t made aware of birth defects that may have prompted them to avoid or end the pregnancy, and wrongful pregnancy where an attempt to terminate the pregnancy fails.

Medication Mistakes

Mistakes made with medications lead to over 1.5 million injuries in the country each year. Such errors include prescribing the wrong medication, prescribing the wrong dose, and not warning patients about potentially harmful side effects. In addition, physicians might have prescribed the right medication for the diagnosis, but may have diagnosed incorrectly. Issues relating to dosage are the most common errors.