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Many infections require medical treatment in order to heal. When you seek medical attention for an infection and don’t receive treatment, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical personnel or hospital that should have provided the treatment.

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What is Medical Negligence?

All doctors, nurses and hospitals are required to follow certain standards of care for any patient they treat. Medical negligence, or medical malpractice, happens when medical personnel fail to provide that standard of care. How do you know if you received the right standard of care? There is a set definition for standard of care; it is the care any other medical personnel would have supplied given the same circumstances. Medical malpractice can come in many different forms. If medical personnel fail to administer the correct treatment or medicine, do not record information that is needed or fail to change treatments when needed, they can be engaging in medical negligence.

How Does Medical Negligence Apply to Infections?

One type of medical negligence is the failure to properly treat an infection. When not treated, infections can worsen. Patients suffer more pain than is necessary, and in extreme cases can suffer permanent damage or even death.

Negligence can occur when an infection is not diagnosed at all or when it is treated with the wrong medications. Stopping treatment too early or administering treatment incorrectly are also considered negligence. Although there are several types of negligence, the key factor in deciding if a treatment was negligent involves deciding if the patient was injured due to their treatment being inadequate in comparison to how most patients are treated.

When Might Medical Negligence Damages Be Appropriate?

For a patient to claim medical malpractice occurred, he would have to prove that the treatment given caused him some form of harm and that it was not properly administered. Situations where patients have to undergo a second round of medication because the first round didn’t clear up an infection aren’t necessarily negligence. Since there’s no guarantee that all medicines will work perfectly the first time on all patients, it is reasonable to need a second dose or some other follow-up treatment even when the first treatment was administered properly.

On the other hand, secondary treatments that are unnecessarily painful or unneeded might be grounds for a medical negligence claim. In this case, the patient would have to show that the first treatment he was given would not cure his infection. Further, he would have to show that the medical personnel involved in his treatment knew or should have known this information.