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5 main types of medical malpractice

Medical malpractice comes in many forms, as all it takes is negligence for a doctor to breach the duty of care that is owed to you as a patient. That said, there are trends with this issue, and many cases fall into a few broad categories. Below are five of the main types of medical malpractice in Illinois.

-- Failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis. These cases are especially dire when the mistake means that treatment on a progressive illness -- like cancer -- is not started as quickly as it should be.

-- Mistakes with lab results. This could include a doctor who looks at the lab results for a different patient with the same last name, a doctor who reads the results incorrectly or a doctor who disregards those results entirely.

-- Surgery that is not necessary or that is done incorrectly. This could include wrong-site surgery, which is when a doctor operates on the wrong part of your body, or surgery that is done correctly, but that is carried out on the wrong patient.

-- Mistakes made with medicine. A doctor may give you a dose that is too large or too small, or you could be given the wrong medication for your condition. You could also be given medication to which you are allergic.

-- Not looking at the patient's medical history or not carrying out the right tests. Both of these things can be very detrimental to making a proper diagnosis and starting the right treatment.

Again, remember that these are not the only ways that medical malpractice can happen, but they give you a good place to start. If you have been harmed, you may have a right to seek compensation.

Source: Quick and Dirty Tips, "What Is Medical Malpractice?," accessed Aug. 11, 2016

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