Medical malpractice can be defined as a form of professional negligence committed by a Louisiana healthcare professional that may result in the injury or death of an individual in his or her care. A recent statistical study found that every year as many as 400,000 patients die unnecessarily in hospitals alone. Given such an alarming figure, it may be necessary to have a better understanding of what might constitute medical malpractice.
Professional negligence by a healthcare professional may lead to birth injuries. In such cases, improper care may lead to brain injury, palsy or even neonatal death. Survivors may be left severely debilitated and permanently disabled due to birth injuries. Future employment and quality of life may also be affected by such injuries.
However, the causes and effects of medical malpractice may not be limited to birth injuries or improper deliveries. Surgeries may be required to save a patient’s life and sometimes such procedures may be critical and complicated. However, a negligent surgeon’s actions may lead to or significantly contribute to injuries or in the worst case scenario, the wrongful death of a patient. Post-surgical infections, erroneous administration of anesthetics or surgical equipment left inside a patient are few of the many causes that can be linked to negligence by a careless surgeon.
Under certain conditions, a healthcare professional’s failure to diagnose a disease may also amount to medical malpractice. A delayed diagnosis of life-threatening conditions, such as pulmonary edema, appendicitis or internal bleeding, may lead to the death of a patient. In other cases, failing to diagnose diseases, such as cancer, can result in deteriorating physical condition. Moreover, a late diagnosis may also mean the difference between successful treatment of a terminal illness for a Lake Charles patient or succumbing to it.
For more information on our firm’s experience with these types of cases, please reference our medical malpractice webpage.