Medical Malpractice


What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional commits a medical error and demonstrates negligence by providing treatment below the acceptable reasonable standard, thereby causing dangerous harm to a patient. Malpractice actions may be brought against individual doctors, hospital, nurses or other health care professionals who may have failed to provide competent and reasonable care and caused damages in doing so.


Why Giffen LLP Lawyers:

Have you or someone you care for suffered serious injuries as result of a negligent act or omission caused by a heath care professional?  If so, we can help.  We have lawyers with experience in this area of law, and can help to ensure that your rights are preserved, and that you are legally protected and compensated fairly.   We have a network of experts and resources to assist us in determining if a medical malpractice action is justified.





Common cases of malpractice include but are not limited to:
  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • Failure to diagnosis or re-diagnosis
  • Surgical Errors
  • Improper anesthesia use
  • Medication errors in dosage or type
  • Inadequate monitoring of patient’s symptoms
  • Incorrect diagnoses
  • Failure to attend to a patient in a timely manner
  • Birth injuries such as cerebral palsy
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis:

When a physician makes an error in diagnosing a serious illness, patients are susceptible to harm and may ultimately suffer unnecessarily. The effects of the misdiagnoses can also be detrimental if patients lose their chance to obtain necessary treatment.  Without optimal and timely treatment, patients may not make the same recovery they would otherwise have made.


Surgical Errors

Some medical malpractice claims arise from mistakes made in the operating room. A surgeon might be negligent during the operation itself (puncturing internal organs, operating on the wrong body part, or leaving surgical instruments in the body) or the nursing staff might be negligent in administering post-op care (which could result in complications including serious infection).


Improper anesthesia use:

Anesthesia is frequently used in most major surgical procedures. Although commonly used, anesthesia can carry with it significant risk especially when a health professional is administering the anesthetic improperly. The effects of anesthesia errors, particularly where the patient is deprived of oxygen, may cause permanent nerve and brain damage, or death.



An anesthesiologist may commit medical malpractice even before anesthesia is administered by:

  • failing to investigate the patient's medical history for possible complications, or
  • failing to inform the patient of the risks involved if preoperative instructions aren't followed (like not eating for a certain period of time prior to surgery).


Anesthesia errors that can occur during surgery include:

  • giving too much anesthesia to the patient
  • failing to monitor the patient's vital signs
  • improperly intubating patients (putting a tube in the trachea to assist with breathing), or
  • using defective or contaminated equipment.


Birth injuries such as cerebral palsy:
Some cases of cerebral palsy are caused by errors made by doctors or other medical professionals that lead to a low level of oxygen, trauma or reduced blood sugars. This in turn may cause permanent injury to the brain.


Common medical errors that may cause Cerebral Palsy include:

  • Failing to monitor the fetal heart rate
  • Misinterpreting fetal heart monitoring strips
  • Missing critical signs of fetal distress such as meconium (stool in the amniotic fluid)
  • Misuse of oxytocin (used to induce or augment labour)
  • Failure to recognize uterine overstimulation (too frequent contractions)
  • Delay in performing a C-section
  • Delay in expediting vaginal operative delivery
  • Improper use of forceps or a vacuum extractor
  • Leaving the baby without oxygen for a prolonged period of time


When Should You Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one may have experienced harm as a result of a medical error, you should consult a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing a limitation period, and to better ensure that relevant clinical notes and records and other relevant evidence is available.  If you would like to discuss how the law could apply in your case with someone from our team, initial consultations are offered without charge.



For further information, please contact us:

Telephone: 519-578-4150

Fax: 519-578-8740  


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