Medical Devices Causing Medical MalpracticeMedical Malpractice Mistakes
Devices that injure patients due to design defect, manufacture defect, or a defect in warning fall within the scope of product liability litigation. Medical malpractice involves negligence committed by a medical professional while treating a patient.
So how can a faulty device equate to medical malpractice. Often times it will depend on what the negligent doctor knew, should have known, or upon whether or not another medical professional would have done what the offending doctor did.
Devices can equate to malpractice in two general ways; if the device was used improperly and or if the device should not have been used at all in treating the patient. Of course, sometimes the device is known to be unfit for use, but nonetheless used on the patient.
Surgical forceps can and have been used improperly during child birth. Laparoscopic tools can be used improperly, especially in the hands of doctors unsuitably trained. The wrong gauge of suture can be used as well, or improperly used instead of surgical staples.
Additionally, as medicine advances, certain devices become defunct. Older types of hip replacements are replaced with better devices; older types of breast implants are discarded as being too dangerous to use. Or quite simply, the doctor either knew or should have known that the type of device used was not proper.
Medical professionals are expected to keep up to date with medical advances. When they do not, they can harm a patient that would not have otherwise been harmed. Moreover, they should not perform procedures if unqualified.
Plain and simple, the alleged negligent conduct of the offending doctor will be judged in comparison to another similarly situated doctor faced with the same circumstances. For example, if a doctor would not have used surgical forceps as did the offending doctor because such is against accepted medical practice in the community, than the offending doctor has breached the duty owed to the patient.
If that breach caused the patient to suffer an injury, the doctor can be held liable for negligent use of the device. In such instances, the patient should attempt to recover damages.
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