When a Medical Error Becomes Medical Malpractice
Author: Katelynn Drake
In 1859, Florence Nightingale wrote that ‘it may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it do no harm.” However, research and statistics tell us that sometimes, medical errors occur in hospitals, and they can have devastating effects on the health, well-being and recovery of the patient.
On average, 10% of hospital patients suffer some form of a medical error, and there is evidence that these errors occur more frequently on weekends (a phenomenon referred to as the “weekend effect”). Many medical errors do not cause harm or cause only minimal harm. However, the Canadian Institute for Patient Safety suggests that some patients experience significant injury and an additional 28,000 Canadian deaths per year occur as a result of a medical error.
As medical negligence lawyers, we see a variety of medical errors, including delayed or missed diagnoses, wrong sided or wrong patient surgery, equipment failure, and birth trauma.
In medical malpractice law suits, the Plaintiff (the injured party and his or her family) needs to prove that the doctor or hospital was negligent when they cared for you, and that negligence caused some harm. These lawsuits are notoriously complicated. If you have been injured by a medical error, it is critical that you seek assistance from experienced Counsel with specific knowledge in the area of medical negligence.
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