From a legal stand point, medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider (1) has a duty to act a certain way, (2) breaches that duty, (3) that breach is the cause of a patient being injured, and (4) a patient is, in fact, injured.
A health care provider has a duty to act the same as and provide the same medical treatment as a reasonably prudent health care provider would have in the same circumstances.
Medical care providers breach their duty by not doing what a reasonably prudent health care provider would have done. This breach can occur by actually doing something that should not have been done or by not doing something that should have been done.
The third criteria is that whatever the health care provider did or didn’t do must be the cause of a patient being injured.
Finally, a patient must, in fact, be injured. If a medical care provider completely screwed up, but a patient did not suffer an injury, then there would not be medical malpractice.
The above information is general information only. If you have any questions whatsoever, talk with a lawyer licensed in your state.