Monday, January 12, 2009

Often Overlooked Forms of Medical Malpractice

According to the Institute of Medicine, between 44,000 and 98,000 people die in hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors, otherwise known as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice comes in many different forms. Some cases are very obvious, while others require close examination. Birth Injury, Dental Negligence and Medication Errors are three forms of medical malpractice that are often overlooked entirely.

Birth Injury

Birth injury, or birth trauma, is a common form of medical malpractice. It is also a very traumatic one, causing many families to suffer silently rather than seek out legal council. Birth injuries occur when a fetus is hurt during the labor and delivery process. It is estimated that approximately 6 injuries occur out of every 1,000 live births each year in the United States. In the state of Oregon, many of the birth injuries reported each year are the result of preventable accidents such as a baby slipping out of a health practitioners grip or rolling from a hospital bassinet.

In many cases of birth injury, a routine procedure like a cesarean section is not performed properly. In others, the doctor or nurse may not have responded properly to signs of fetal distress, thereby causing harm to the child. Regardless of the incident, birth injuries due to medical malpractice have the potential to cause your child a lifelong illness or a permanent disability and are a very serious occurrence. If you believe a family member has suffered from a birth injury contact an experienced attorney immediately in order to secure the necessary funds to cover your child's medical expenses.

Dental Negligence

Dental negligence occurs when a dentist or oral surgeon fails to provide the proper standard of care and causes injury to a patient. Some common injuries caused by dental negligence include failure to detect gum disease, permanent/temporary nerve damage to the lingual or inferior alveolar nerves, improper use of dental instruments and improper or unnecessary treatments. Oftentimes these injuries are the result of what should be a routine procedure, such as a root canal or the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. Many cases of dental negligence go unreported every year. Speak to a lawyer in your area if you feel you or a loved one may have suffered unduly as a result of dental negligence.

Medication Errors

Medication errors are among the most common medical errors made in the United States, affecting at least 1.5 million people each year. Each year in the United States approximately 7,000 deaths are due to medication errors.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the most common medication errors involve incorrect dosage, prescribing the wrong drug and using an incorrect method of administration. It is also common for health practitioners to make mistakes as a result of not knowing enough about a patients' medical history (allergies, current medications, previous treatments). Lastly, the miscommunication of drug orders also plays a role in medication error.

If you feel you or a loved may have suffered from birth injury, dental negligence, mediation error or any other form of medical malpractice, consult an experienced lawyer immediately. Quite often a medical malpractice claim will include compensation for your pain and distress, as well as payment for all medical expenses incurred as a result of the malpractice.

Gary Susak has been a medical malpractice lawyer in Portland, Oregon for over 35 years. The medical malpractice attorneys at his law firm, Susak & Powell have over 100 years combined experience. If you need to retain the services of a birth injury, dental negligence or medication error attorney, contact our offices for a free consultation.

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