What are common types of medical malpractice?

There are a wide variety of types of medical malpractice. Some of the most common include but are not limited to:

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis - This can include a delayed diagnosis or treatment of cancer, arthrosclerosis (heart disease), or any other type of chronic disease that results in harm or injury to the patient. It may result from a misreading of diagnostic tests, the failure to order the appropriate tests, or the simple failure to follow up and communicate negative test results to the patient.

Surgical Errors – This can include items left inside a patient during surgery (the most common example is a doctor leaving a surgical sponge inside a patient), a doctor cutting the wrong body part during surgery, a doctor performing surgery on the wrong body part, or a botched plastic surgery.

Prescription Drug and Medication Errors – This can include a pharmacist filling the wrong prescription or giving someone the wrong person’s prescription, a doctor wrongfully discontinuing a drug, or a doctor prescribing a drug that the patient is allergic to.

Failure to Monitor Errors - This can include a doctor failing to properly monitor a patient for infection after surgery, health care employees failing to monitor patients in the hospital that results in trip and falls, or employees failing to mobilize patients and resulting in bedsores or blood clots, or hospital employees failing to maintain and document records in accordance with the hospital’s policies.

Infection – Although infection is a known risk for many types of surgeries, a doctor and health care employees have a duty to monitor patients closely after surgery and diagnose and treat any potential infection in a timely manner. A delay in diagnosis and treatment may result in malpractice.

Obstetrician Mistakes (Birth errors) – Obstetrical malpractice can occur at many different stages of a pregnancy or birth from failure to perform proper prenatal tests, failure to monitor a pregnancy or properly conduct a delivery resulting in injury to the newborn or mother. Notably, pursuant

Emergency Room Errors – Emergency room errors can include a delay in treating a patient, a failure to perform proper medical tests, or any other type of error by a doctor or health care employee when one is seeking treatment in the emergency room. Notably, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §15-32-230, one must prove a higher degree of negligence known as “gross negligence” when pursing a medical malpractice claim based on emergency room errors.