Medical malpractice is the colloquial term that refers to professional negligence for doctors, nurses and similar workers. Some residents often confuse this idea with the general concept of a poor medical outcome.
Is malpractice in play anytime that a patient suffers a sudden or unexpected medical complication? Not quite.
Instead, the only analysis that counts is comparing the conduct of medical professionals in a specific case with the conduct of the reasonably prudent medical professional in a similar situation. In other words, for legal purposes, the focus is on the specific actions of the medical professionals, not necessarily the exact outcomes of any given medial case.
This distinction is important to emphasize, particularly in light of medical events that come with inherent risks. For example, the risk of complications are greater for something like heart surgery than they are for having stitches removed. Many more serious adverse outcomes may result from heart surgery than from stitches. However, for negligence purposes, the analysis is the same in both cases: What did the medical professionals do? Was it reasonable based on the standard protocols for the profession?
On the other hand, it is important for local residents not to automatically assume that their medical professionals acted reasonably in all cases, even when adverse outcomes result. The professionals themselves will rarely admit that their own lapses led to problems. On the contrary, more often than not, those professionals will explain what happened using only medical analysis, almost never implicating themselves or their own conduct.
For that reason, it is prudent for all individuals (or their families) who suffer unexpected medical harm to at least consider the possibility that medical negligence played a role. That is particularly true in incidents where you do not receive clear answers.
For example, too many families have stories that are similar to those affecting a family that recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a hospital following the death of a child during birth.
According to the complaint, the family went in for the delivery without any hint that there was anything wrong with the pregnancy. However, in the middle of the birth, the doctor decided to use forceps to extract the child. Unfortunately, that move proved to be deadly. A family friend discussing the matter for the devastated parents explained that the little girl’s skull was crushed by the forceps, with her spine “twisted and severed” by the forceful action of the doctor in attempting to speed up the birth.
The family reports that prior to the delivery, they did ask the doctor for a C-section, because they were concerned about the mother’s small size–she is less than five feet tall and weighed less than 95 pounds prior to the pregnancy. However, the doctor is noted as talking the family out of that option because it would leave a surgical scar.
Every time that forceps are used or every time that a child dies during birth is not an automatic sign of negligence. However, improper use of forceps or failure to order a timely C-section may very well cross the line and result in legal liability. The case-specific nature of these matters makes it crucial to speak with legal professionals so that they examine the details and offer tailored guidance.
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