The Encyclopedia of Medical Malpractice

Dr. Matthew H. H. Young, MD, JD, CMQ, Esq.

Dr. Matthew H. H. Young, MD, JD, CMQ, Esq.

Founder & Executive Director,
Patient Advocacy Organization and Resource (PAOR)

Medical malpractice comes in many different shapes and forms. 

Here’s the world’s most comprehensive publicly available list of all the ways medical malpractice can manifest.

For patients and families who have suffered a bad outcome, many ask, “Do I have a medical malpractice case?” or “Was I a victim of medical malpractice?”

Assume you do until you are told otherwise. And even if you are told otherwise, see Commandment Number 9: Thou shalt not stop seeking legal counsel until all options have been exhausted. Most law firms and lawyers simply don’t understand the nuances of medicine and frequently tell clients they don’t have a case when in fact they do. Think about it this way: it is better to have tried to investigate a case that turned out to be without merit than to never have pursued a case that did in fact have merit.

If you don’t see your specific injury or potential claim listed below, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a case — it might just be labeled differently.

By Specialty:

  • Obstetrics – Birth Injury: maternal or fetal injury
    1. Antepartum Injury – prenatal injuries, e.g., failure to induce and deliver a patient with preeclampsia
    2. Intrapartum Injury – injury occurring during, at or around the time of birth, e.g., failure to timely deliver with fetal distress
    3. Postpartum injury – injury to mother occurring after birth, e.g., failure to monitor and treat blood pressures appropriately in a patient with delayed onset postpartum preeclampsia resulting in organ damage
  • Gynecology: failure to follow cervical cancer screening guidelines resulting in delay in diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer
  • Neonatal injury – injury after birth in the NICU
  • Infant injury – injury after 30 days of life, e.g., failure to diagnose meningitis
  • Brain injury – neurological injury, e.g., failure to diagnose and treat intracranial bleeding
  • Delay in diagnosis of cancer
    1. Breast cancer
    2. Cervical cancer
    3. Colon cancer
    4. Lung cancer
    5. Brain cancer
    6. Skin cancer
    7. GI cancer
    8. Genitourinary cancer, e.g., prostate cancer
    9. Hematologic cancers
  • Wrongful death
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular – e.g., failure to diagnose myocardial infarction (heart attack), aortic dissection
  • Spinal cord injuries – e.g., failure to diagnose and treat spinal epidural abscess
  • Infection – failure to treat with antibiotics or to achieve adequate source control, e.g., washing out an abscess
  • Emergency Room litigation – failure to admit patient or do necessary workup, patient was discharged with undiagnosed life-threatening condition
  • Neurosurgery litigation – e.g., injuries in the OR
  • Cardiothoracic litigation – e.g., improper repair of a heart valve
  • Preventive care, family medicine, primary care, general practitioner – failure to administer routine preventive care
  • Critical care/ICU litigation – failure to provide necessary critical care or other cardiorespiratory interventions
  • Psychiatry – failure to prevent suicide
  • Surgery – wrong site surgery, retained surgical foreign body
  • Anesthesia – failure to monitor hemodynamics resulting in hypoperfusion brain injury
  • Infectious Disease – failure to initiate antibiotic therapy in a timely manner
  • Gastroenterology – failure to do proper colonoscopy resulting in missed lesion
  • Pathology – incorrect or missed pathologic diagnosis
  • Radiology – missed finding or diagnosis on x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, etc., causing delay in diagnosis and resulting in, e.g., upstaged cancer
The Encyclopedia of Medical Malpractice was last modified: May 17th, 2021 by Matthew H. H. Young, M.D., Esq.

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PAOR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating and serving Pennsylvania patients and families who are concerned that they may have been harmed by medical malpractice.