Steve Clark and Associates

Proudly Serving The Greater Oklahoma City Area

Medical negligence

Medical negligence happens when medical professionals act outside of the acceptable practices of the medical community to treat a patient and that treatment results in an injury. Many people believe that medical malpractice is limited to doctors and surgical procedures. This belief is a common misconception. Negligence can occur by anyone in the medical profession that is providing direct treatment to a patient.


Common Types of Medical Negligence


Misdiagnosis, Failure to Diagnose, Failure to Treat


Medical care providers have a duty to their patents to diagnose their conditions and provide the proper care. When a care provider does not diagnose a condition correctly, fails to diagnose a condition at all, or fails to treat an obvious condition correctly, harm can come to the patient. In some cases, failure to diagnose can even lead to life-threatening situations.

Care providers are obligated to perform necessary testing or recommend that a patient see a specialist for a condition that they may find it hard to diagnose. Allowing a patient to be harmed by not treating them is a form of medical negligence.


Surgical Errors


Surgical errors that cause harm to the patient are a form of medical negligence. Everyone has heard the horror stories about these types of events. However, many other types of less dramatic surgical errors can occur that harm the patient and should have never happened.


Birth Injuries


Injuries that occur during the delivery of a baby account for a large portion of medical negligence claims each year. These injuries include those that occur to the baby and the mother. Improper delivery techniques, improper use of delivery aides, and improper care of the mother can all lead to life-long injuries for either the baby or mother.

Failure to perform a cesarean section in time to prevent harm to the baby and mother is also considered malpractice. Anyone participating in the birth that contributes to the harm of the baby or mother can be held liable for medical negligence.


Under Treating or Over Treating A Condition


Medical practitioners can be held liable for injuries if they do not treat a medical condition with available treatments. The medical community has a standard of care that they find acceptable for all medical conditions, and failure to provide enough of that care can lead to harm. For example, a person with a broken arm would not just be given pain medication and sent home. A broken arm needs to have x-rays, needs to be set and placed in a cast, and then pain management should be provided.

On the opposite side of the issue, over-treating a condition can cause harm to a patient as well. Continually putting a patient through testing, exploratory surgeries, and other treatment methods for a basic medical condition can cause harm. Sometimes, a headache is just a headache.


Infections and Communicable Diseases


Medical care providers and medical facilities have an obligation to patients to protect them from infections and infectious diseases. All care providers must wash their hands before treating a patient, and all medical care rooms and facilities must be properly cleaned and maintained to stop the spread of disease.

Infections occurring after a surgical procedure due to improper care may also qualify under medical negligence. If the care you receive has led to infection after surgery, or if you have caught an infectious disease through your care provider, you must speak with an OKC medical negligence attorney about your rights to seek compensation.


Prescription Errors


Taking the wrong medication, the wrong strength of the medication, or being prescribed medications that knowingly has a negative interaction with medications that you have already been prescribed, are all forms of medical negligence. Errors with medication can happen at many different levels, including the dispensary at the hospital, the written prescription, or at your local pharmacy.


Medical Device Errors


In some cases, the failure of a surgically implanted medical device may be the result of malpractice. If the device was not implanted correctly or if an infection follows the surgery, there may be a reason to believe that malpractice occurred.

However, failures of medical devices may also be a result of manufacturing flaws. If this is the case, you are a victim of product liability and not medical malpractice. If you are injured by a medical device, speak with an attorney about the injury. Your attorney can complete the proper investigation to determine if the failure is from malpractice or product liability and help you seek compensation accordingly.


Other Errors


There are many other errors that can occur when you receive medical care. If you believe that the medical care you received has caused you harm, it is important to consult with an attorney. As a victim of medical malpractice, you have the right to claim compensation for your injury and your financial losses.


Who Can Be Held Responsible For Medical Malpractice?


Medical negligence is not just reserved for doctors. Anyone who provides direct medical care to the patient can be held liable for injuries their treatment has caused. Some of the people that may be held liable for malpractice include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Nurses’ Aides / CNA
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Test Technicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Orthodontists
  • Chiropractors
  • Medical Care Facilities


A Note On Medical Malpractice


It is very important that everyone understands that malpractice is an action that happens when a care provider does something outside of the normally accepted practices of the medical community, and that action causes harm. Poor or undesired outcomes from medical care do not constitute medical negligence.

All medical care comes with a risk. Sadly, medical care treatments are not 100 percent guaranteed. If you did not get the outcome you desired from medical treatment, this does not necessarily mean that malpractice occurred.

To help you distinguish if the outcome was from an error made by the practitioner, it will be necessary to have the procedure investigated. Speak with an OKC medical negligence attorney if you believe that you have been harmed by a medical error so that they can initiate an investigation.