When Is Bad Result Considered Malpractice?
Medical malpractice does not always mean a bad result. If the operation performed does not make the patient better, the surgeon is not necessarily liable. If the doctor prescribes a drug that doesn’t cure the patient’s ill, or gives side effects, the physician is not automatically negligent.
An unfortunate outcome does not mean that the doctor’s actions fell below the acceptable standard of care in a medical community. Our attorneys at Duffy & Duffy can review a matter and decide if a bad result will cause the doctor to be liable for malpractice or if the outcome is just one of the risks of medical procedure and treatment.
Here are some examples of when bad outcome may equal medical malpractice:
- Erb’s PalsyThis is a preventable condition which occurs when the nerves in the shoulder suffer physical trauma, often during labor and delivery. In these situations the head comes out with no problem, but the shoulders gets stuck underneath the mother’s pelvis, causing physician to pull on the baby’s head and neck in the efforts to get the baby out. Coincidentally there are special safety maneuvers that the health professionals are taught to use in cases where the baby does not come out easily. In the alternative, it is physician’s job to recognize that the large size of the baby may cause a problem during delivery and perform a c-section instead. By exerting pressure on the baby’s head and neck instead, the doctor may cause bruising or tear around the shoulder area causing Erb’s Palsy. The majority of these cases take place during birth and our malpractice attorneys have been successful in showing that Erb’s Palsy could have been avoided.
- Surgical mistakesDoctors cannot guarantee successful outcomes of every surgery. That’s why complications or infections are often inherent risks of the operation, and may not result in malpractice lawsuit. However, there are surgeries where the doctor is so clearly negligent and the injury is so severe as to warrant medical malpractice action against the surgeon. Examples are: operating on the wrong side of patient’s body, leaving medical instruments inside the patient’s body (sponges, clamps or performing wrong surgery. Furthermore there are gynecological procedures or improperly performed colonoscopies that can damage nearby body organs or nerve tissue, causing pain and suffering. Malpractice lawsuit against a surgeon who performed bad surgery is costly, because even if the doctor is clearly at fault, he may risk the case going to trial, where the juries are overwhelming biased against the plaintiffs. We at Duffy & Duffy are careful about which malpractice cases we accept, but we welcome your call or visit to discuss if we believe your case has merit and may be successful at trial.
- Wrong prescriptionsPrescription errors are not excusable. Whether these are errors made by pharmacists in dispensing the wrong medication or by a physician in writing down the wrong dosage or even by optometrist putting in the wrong lens, these avoidable mistakes could lead to serious side effects and injuries for unsuspecting patients. For example, wearing wrong prescription eyeglasses for just 30 days can injure the child’s eye sight. Another scenario is drugs given in crammed emergency rooms where a doctor may fail to notice that the patient is allergic to certain medication, as stated in his chart, and dispense it anyway, causing severe injuries or even death. Our malpractice attorneys are experienced in the area of prescription errors and will be happy to discuss your case with you.
If you would like to get in touch with one of our attorneys, we invite you to call 516-394-4200 to speak to us.