Medical Negligence vs. Medical Malpractice: What’s the Difference?
Having health problems is never a fun experience. Many people greatly dislike having to go to a doctor for treatment, let alone having to go to a hospital for any emergency, or to have a procedure done.
However, when we do so, we trust that we are in the hands of experts who can help us improve our health, and we do not expect anything to go wrong as a result of their making a mistake.
Unfortunately, medical errors can be more common than we imagine, putting people’s lives at risk, and even, in serious cases, causing death.
Doctors and hospitals can make different mistakes that include from a wrong diagnosis, incorrect medication, dangerous or unnecessary surgical procedures, to lack of knowledge regarding diseases, surgeries, or consequences and side effects for the patient.
Difference between malpractice and medical negligence
Within the area of personal injury claims, we can find two different terms when a person is affected by a hospital or medical equipment. These two terms are “medical malpractice” and “medical negligence,” and while they may be very similar, it’s important to know the difference.
Medical malpractice refers to a situation in which the medical professional is aware of the consequences that their actions may have, and carries them out anyway. This can occur because protocols or quality standards were not followed when performing a medical procedure.
For example, let’s say that, during surgery, the medical team does not disinfect all the surgical material that they are going to use – either due to haste or lack of attention – and this causes a severe infection in the patient. The health professional knows that this is very likely to happen, however, he decides not to follow the necessary protocols for sterilization. This would be a perfect example of medical malpractice.
On the other hand, medical negligence refers to a situation in which the medical professional may unknowingly cause harm to a patient, either by accident, ignorance, or by omitting some steps that were necessary to perform.
For example, a doctor may prescribe certain medications to a patient without first ascertaining whether they will cause any allergies or negative reactions in the patient. This is a very common case of medical malpractice.
If you have been injured by medical negligence or malpractice, contact our attorneys. Schedule a free consultation and we will gladly review your case. Call us!