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Why failing to take action may be medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

In many cases, medical malpractice involves some kind of egregious mistake. For example, surgeons sometimes perform the wrong procedure on patients, which is an example of a gross error that a facility could easily prevent with better oversight.

Such scenarios may serve as grounds for medical malpractice claims if the affected parties seek compensation for the medical consequences of a physician or facility’s errors. Those seeking medical treatment or concerned about the standard of care received by a loved one can often benefit from learning more about what constitutes medical malpractice.

Major mistakes aren’t the only concern that plagues healthcare settings. Malpractice can also involve a failure to act on the part of healthcare professionals that results in patient harm. What might constitute an omission or failure to act in a healthcare setting?

Failing to follow best practices

There are certain standards in the medical industry that exists for the protection of patients and the conservation of resources. Typically, healthcare providers need to follow specific diagnostic processes and adhere to best practices for different areas of medicine when treating their patients. Any deviation from what is considered standard or the best approach for the welfare of the patients could constitute malpractice.

An example could involve a failure to utilize or respond to fetal heart rate monitors when supervising a woman’s labor. The domestic authorities on obstetric care recommend heart rate monitoring for both the mother and the fetus during labor and delivery so that doctors can intervene in a timely fashion if the infant goes into distress. Failing to monitor the status of an unborn child, failing to monitor the condition of uncommunicative patients or failing to perform rounds during a shift at a hospital are all examples of how professionals might fail to properly monitor patients and intervene on their behalf if they deviate from best practices.

Diagnostic failures are another concern

Doctors sometimes dismiss a patient’s reported symptoms and do not diagnose them at all. A failure to diagnose can be a severe medical error, especially if someone has experienced a major event like a stroke or has a progressive condition like cancer. When doctors fail to diagnose patients, they may not get the care they need.

Medical professionals who do not apply an appropriate degree of care when monitoring or communicating may potentially be held liable for professional negligence in the event that their inaction leads to patient harm. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim could benefit those who have not received proper care and have experienced adverse medical consequences because of such failures.