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Medical Malpractice Case – Separating Those With Or Without Merit Can Be Difficult

Determining which medical malpractice cases with or without merit is problematic. This is why medical malpractice is such a complicated field, and cannot be dismissed with tort reform. If something goes wrong with surgery or a diagnostic test such as a colonoscopy, this does not necessarily mean the doctor or technician did anything wrong.

Medical Malpractice: 5 Reasons Why Your Case Won't Be Accepted


A certain percentage of surgeries and even diagnostic procedures have something go wrong. The other facet of such cases is for the doctors, nurses and other personnel to quickly realize that something has gone wrong and to take action to protect the health and the life of the patient. In one case in Chicago, Illinois, at Rush University Medical Centre, a doctor was accused of failing to diagnose a displaced oblique fracture of the distal right clavicle – a shoulder injury. The patient claimed that the doctor failed to discover the fracture, which was shown on the x-ray and failed to review the radiologist's report of the x-ray. The patient also claimed and that this negligence caused the patient pain and suffering. The patient was also forced later to have additional surgery to remove hardware used to reduce the fracture. However, after consulting with other doctors and radiologists, the case was dismissed against the radiologist. However, a malpractice suit still remains against the doctor involved.

In another case, in the Madison County Circuit court in Illinois, a female patient claimed she went to the emergency room complaining of chest pressure, as well as tingling and numbness in both arms. Her lawyer claims the doctor discharged her from the emergency room on 18 October 2005, when he knew or should have known that her condition of heart problems meant she needed to be hospitalized. She suffered a heart attack on 24 October 2005, which caused severe and permanent injuries. She claims her injuries caused pain and suffering and the need to undergo treatments. The case is under litigation.

In yet another recent case in Madison County, a patient claims colon perforation in a medical malpractice suit. The plaintiff, a Ms. M. has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Saint Anthony's Health Centre and several physicians, claiming she suffered complications from a colonoscopy performed 16 June 2004. Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure in which only a small percentage of patients suffer complications. She suffered a perforated colon. Her physician did not recognize immediately that she suffered injury, and she was forced back to the emergency room hours later for an operation. Was this a true malpractice case? The case is still under litigation.

A lawyer is the best person to determine whether or not a medical error is medical malpractice. He or she then will need to determine if the case has merit. In other words, the lawyer needs to decide if the case can be won in court or not. In some states, the medical malpractice lawyer must confer with a physician to make this decision. If the physician or lawyer decides the case has merit, the medical malpractice lawsuit can proceed. If the lawyer decides the lawsuit has no merit, the client should be informed right away. At that point, the client can have a second lawyer look at the case, or give up the lawsuit altogether.

Malpractice is defined as medical neglect that causes damage. The physician may have made poor decisions or otherwise neglected the patient. However, if there was no damage or injury, there is very little chance for a malpractice suit to succeed. Permanent injury is usually a cause for a medical malpractice suit. Here are some examples of a possible strong case for a malpractice suit.

Using anaesthesia improperly can cause injury or death. One example of improper anaesthesia use is when an anaesthesiologist miscalculates the amount of oxygen needed for a surgery. A patient could suffer a heart attack, and possibly die from this medical mistake.

Childbirth may be a natural process, but medical mistakes or negligence can still cause serious problems with either the mother or child. Misdiagnosis or failure to detect a possible problem with the child causes many of these problems. For example, a baby could have a metabolic disorder. If the doctor does not diagnose this problem, brain damage or other complications could occur. Delays in treatment are also a problem in the delivery room. If the decision to have a Caesarean section is delayed, the baby could have permanent brain damage.

Failure to follow a doctor's orders can also cause serious health problems or death. One example of this would be the wrong medication being given to a patient. In some instances, a medication whose dose is incorrect can cause permanent damage. Another example is if nurses feed a patient due to have surgery. The patient's surgery would then have to be delayed, causing serious complications that are permanent.

Failure to diagnose cancer or other disease is another possible cause to bring a lawsuit. If the diagnosis is not made, permanent injury can be the result. In the case of cancer, failure to diagnose cancer can cause death. Sometimes cancer is misdiagnosed as an infection or other ailment. The delay that is caused by this misdiagnosis can be deadly.

There are mishaps and accidents in medical practice. If you suspect that a medical problem is due to negligence, misdiagnosis, or other medical error, contact an experienced malpractice lawyer for advice. If your injuries are permanent, you may have a reason for a medical malpractice suit.