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The standard of medical practice in Australia is very high. However, sometimes things go wrong, and errors are made. Here are some common examples of medical negligence and malpractice.

Errors made during surgery

Surgeons and anaesthetists are among the most highly qualified and skilled medical practitioners. However, every surgery carries a risk of complications or something unexpected happening. The question is whether it was avoidable.

Common Surgical Errors

  • Leaving equipment inside a patient
  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Infection that could have been avoided
  • Failure to provide adequate post-operative care
  • Failure to carry out a surgical procedure fully (e.g. the partial removal of a tumour)
  • Unnecessary disfigurement or nerve damage caused during the surgery, for example, during cosmetic surgery
  • Damage was done to another part of the body that was not involved in the surgery.


Common Anaesthesia Errors 

  • Administering the incorrect dose of anaesthetic
  • Injecting anaesthetic into a nerve that causes nerve damage or paralysis
  • Failure to monitor blood pressure and oxygen levels while the patient is anaesthetised can result in brain damage, stroke or other complications.


Hospital Negligence

When a patient has a health issue and visits a public or private hospital, they can expect a reasonable standard of service or treatment. Some examples of hospital negligence include:

  • Failure to take a proper patient history
  • Failure to make a diagnosis within a reasonable period
  • Failure to make referrals for treatment to medical specialists 
  • Surgical errors 
  • Poor post-operative care


Errors with prescriptions and administration of medication

Taking the wrong medication or an incorrect dose can have severe and long-term consequences. Not only can it cause an injury directly, but it can delay the correct treatment of a person’s illness. If a medication error occurs due to a wrong prescription or administration by a practitioner, it may be the basis of a medical negligence claim. Medication errors may include:

  • A doctor making a mistake with the name of a medication
  • A doctor making an incorrect diagnosis, leading to a mistaken prescription
  • A nurse or pharmacist fails to understand the doctor’s prescription or directions
  • A mislabelled drug.

For a free assessment of whether your circumstances qualify for medical negligence or malpractice, speak to the
Medical Negligence Law experts at Carbone Lawyers.