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Patients have the right to assume that the care and comfort they receive from medical providers will be proper and safe. In most cases, physicians and medical staff do uphold their end of this relationship. Sometimes, though, medical providers fall short. In such cases, they may be guilty of medical malpractice. Boston attorney Frederic Halström has extensive experience in litigating medical malpractice cases; he won the largest-ever paid medical malpractice verdict in Massachusetts. This means that clients who hire Mr. Halström will have a significant advantage in the courtroom.
What is Medical Malpractice?Medical malpractice occurs when a physician or other medical provider fails to administer proper care to his or her patient, resulting in physical, emotional, or mental damage to the victim. In some cases, the provider may fail to properly diagnose a disease or administer proper treatment or medication. Whatever the circumstances, it is the patient – the consumer – who suffers as a result of medical malpractice. When this occurs, victims are entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and should consult with a medical malpractice lawyer. Massachusetts and national victims commonly receive compensation for the following types of medical malpractice cases:
Procedural Negligence – Procedural medical negligence occurs when a medical provider fails to properly treat a patient or to perform routine tests or treatments for a medical condition. Additionally, pharmacists who fail to give proper instructions to patients when dispensing medication can be liable for medical malpractice. If this negligent act intensifies the patient’s condition or leads to suffering, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice.
Failure to Diagnose – If a physician fails to perform routine tests for diseases that are commonly linked to a patient’s symptoms, he or she may be guilty of medical malpractice. Failure to diagnose can be particularly dangerous to cancer or HIV patients whose health relies on early detection. In most states, the physician can only be held liable if it can be proven that he or she strayed from customary procedural care, and that this negligence led to the patient’s increased suffering or physical deterioration.
Misdiagnosis – In some cases, a physician may offer the wrong diagnosis to a patient. This is common in cases of female breast cancer. If the physician diagnoses or treats a patient for the wrong disease, the patient can suffer unnecessary financial and physical burdens.
Birth Defects or Birth Injuries – Obstetricians who do not use proper surgical care when delivering a newborn can be liable for medical malpractice if the mother or child is injured during the birth. Common negligence cases include the misdiagnosis of placenta previa and the prolonging of the birthing process. Placenta previa can cause dangerous blood loss to both the mother and the baby. Prolonging labor can lead to oxygen loss that can be fatal or cause significant brain damage to the child. Cerebal Palsy, a group of disorders that involve brain and nervous system malfunction, can be caused by lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia), as well as other factors.
Obstetrical Negligence – Obstetricians who fail to provide customary care to female patients may be guilty of medical malpractice if this negligence causes fertility problems or a deterioration of health for the patient. Obstetrical negligence may include improper insertion and monitoring of IUDs, and failure to diagnose gynecological diseases or conditions such as ovarian, cervical and breast cancer, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and other sexually transmitted diseases.