Medical malpractice can be defined as the failure of a medical professional (doctor, nurse, EMT, dentist, plastic surgeon, or other medical facility staff member) to provide adequate or otherwise reasonable medical treatment and care to a patient. Medical malpractice can occur once or on an ongoing basis and may manifest itself only over a period of time. Common types of medical malpractice include:
- The failure of a medical professional to diagnose an illness, the delayed diagnosis of an illness, or the misdiagnosis of an illness.
- Surgical errors, including performing the wrong surgery.
- Medication errors, including administering a medication that has potentially deadly side effects or interacts negatively with another medication.
- Foreign bodies (often surgical tools or instruments) left inside the patient.