Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, means that a medical provider has not complied with accepted medical standards in the care of a patient, causing injury to that patient. A medical provider may be a doctor, nurse, hospital, medical office, lab, nursing home, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant, among others.
Medical negligence includes hospital and surgical errors, such as wrong site surgeries, needles and sponges left in a patient, fires in the operating room, malfunctioning equipment, nerve injuries resulting from malposition during surgery, nursing errors, wrong or overdosed medications, failure to supervise physicians assistants or nurse practitioners, misread imaging studies or pathology specimens, failure to report positive test results, failure to diagnose breast, skin, lung, bowel, bladder and other cancers, primary care and consulting physician misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose infections such as staph, MSSA and MRSA, failure to properly recognize and treat potentially fatal conditions including peritonitis, sepsis, or necrotizing fasciitis, and failure to communicate between medical providers resulting in a patient not receiving required medical care.
Medical malpractice also may include injuries to children during childbirth, such as cerebral palsy, shoulder bone fractures, damage to the infant’s brachial plexus nerves from shoulder dystocia, commonly known as Erb’s Palsy, brain and physical injuries to the infant’s skull caused by traction, suction or mechanical devices used during childbirth, and untreated jaundice, among others.
Mothers also may suffer from medical malpractice during childbirth including failure to diagnose and treat preeclampsia, failure to recognize and treat a maternal hemorrhage during childbirth, injury to the mother’s body during childbirth, and failure to recognize and treat maternal injuries from the birth.