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5 examples of negligence: Recognizing medical malpractice

In cases of medical malpractice, there are a number of red flags that could indicate negligence and a right to seek compensation for injuries or wrongful death. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to recognize these red flags.

In this post, we'd like to illustrate five situations that involve medical negligence, all of which could lead to medical malpractice claims.

Example 1: Poorly trained staff

When staff are not properly trained or hospitals do not do a good enough job of hiring qualified staff, accidents can happen, such as anesthesia errors, medication errors and surgical errors. This type of negligence can result in injuries or even the death of a loved one.

Example 2: Hospital understaffing

When hospitals are understaffed, doctors and nurses are often pressured into working longer shifts with fewer rest breaks. When fatigue sets in, mistakes are bound to occur, such as operating on the wrong patient, giving patients the wrong medication or dosage, or making the wrong judgment call when a patient's life is on the line.

Example 3: Hospital acquired infections

Though incredibly difficult to prove in most cases, hospital-acquired infections happen when staff fail to properly clean medical equipment, wipe down beds or disinfect bedding. In some cases, hospital-acquired infections can be fatal, particularly for patients who have compromised immune systems or have recently gone through a surgical procedure.

Example 4: Failure to diagnose

If a doctor fails to correctly identify a disease or illness, a patient may not receive the treatments they need in a timely manner. But failure to diagnose doesn't just mean missing a chance for timely treatment. It could also mean a misdiagnosis, which is equally as bad because a patient could mistakenly receive the wrong treatment and suffer harm as a result.

Example 5: Not following proper hospital procedure

When proper hospital procedures are ignored or are not followed due to poor training or fatigue, patients' lives can be put at risk. Failing to follow procedure could lead to a patient being released too soon from the hospital or they could be given the wrong treatment. Mistakes may lead to injury or death -- both outcomes no patient ever wants to experience. 

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