What is Medical Malpractice and How Can It Be Avoided?

When we visit the doctor or hospital for medical treatment we expect that we will receive the best care possible. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Although medical professionals have a duty to give proper treatment to patients it is not always provided. Many people wonder, what is medical malpractice? Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor’s negligence results in a serious injury or death.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

There are many different types of medical malpractice. The most common forms of malpractice fall into the major categories of:

  • Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
  • Surgical Mistakes
  • Medication Errors
  • Childbirth Injuries

Misdiagnosis includes mistakes made during diagnosis and the associated treatment errors. A doctor may fail to properly diagnose a patient’s condition by failing to perform the correct tests or by inadequately reviewing or interpreting the test results. Many conditions have similar symptoms but require more extensive testing to ensure a proper diagnosis is made.

Surgical Mistakes Can Cause Injuries

Mistakes are very often made immediately before, during, or after surgery. The patient must be adequately prepared for surgery and the proper type and dosage of anesthesia needs to be administered. During the procedure the team needs to take care not to damage organs or leave any surgical tools behind. An error during such a procedure could create an infection or other harm which requires further medical treatment.

The Prevention of Medical Mistakes

Medical mistakes can and should be prevented. There are a number of ways that this can be done. Hospitals and medical facilities must be adequately staffed to avoid staff from being overworked and inattentive. Proper methods of testing and diagnosis need to be utilized. Professional review of tests must be made and doctors should consult with others, especially in difficult situations.

Resolving Cases of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a serious concern for all patients and their families. If an error has occurred the victim or his family may be entitled to seek compensation for costs incurred because of the injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to gather information and review the situation to determine what happened and what can be done about it. If medical malpractice has taken place the doctor or hospital responsible for the injury should be held responsible.

If you or a loved one were harmed due to the negligence of a doctor, contact the skilled lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC to learn more about how to resolve your case.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding What is Medical Malpractice, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.