Our good health is often taken for granted, until something happens. When a Pennsylvanian comes down with a serious illness or suffers a serious injury, it can turn their world upside down. Physicians and other medical professionals can make mistakes that sometimes cause a patient to suffer further injuries and a worsened condition. When this happens, a patient may want to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, there may be some steps they may want to take before doing so.
Surgical Accidents and Errors are More Common than You Might Think
When your life is quite literally in your surgeon's hands, you want to be able to trust that person. But surgical errors in the operating room are far from rare. A 2006 study by the National Institutes of Health reported on over one thousand neurosurgeries and the surgical error statistics are rather sobering.
Physicians, surgeons and other medical professionals, even if they have years of education and experience, are only human and they can make mistakes. Unfortunately, these mistakes can seriously harm patients, or even make their condition worse than it was before they sought medical care. When this happens, it is important for victims in Pennsylvania to know that under circumstances, they may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.
No one enjoys being sick. Some minor illnesses, such as a cold, mean a day or two off work, spent in bed with a box of tissues and some cold medicine. Other illnesses though, are much more serious, necessitating a hospital stay, strong prescription medications and weeks or even months away from work. However, no matter how serious the illness, people in Pennsylvania trust that when they go to their doctor for a diagnosis, it will be correct and an appropriate treatment plan developed.
When a person in Pennsylvania is sick or injured, they may be concerned about getting healthy. They want to get back to their normal, day-to-day lives. Having one's life disrupted by an injury or illness is discouraging, but things can be made even worse when a person's physician makes a mistake, causing the patient to suffer a worsened condition. When this happens, the victim may wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. But, one study has found that the number of medical malpractice claims may be on the decline.
A medical malpractice lawsuit is the patient's remedy for physician errors and surgical accidents. However, pending legislation in Congress could impede a patient's ability to obtain compensation from a physician or hospital in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.
Pennsylvanians who believe they or a loved one have been a victim of a doctor error can be affected in a variety of ways. The illness, condition or injury they sought medical care for might grow worse. It is possible that the person could die because of the mistake. Whether it is a wrong diagnosis, a surgery error, a mistake with medication or any other misstep by a medical professional, research is ongoing to determine signs that might point to how and why it occurs. One study suggests that surgeons who have had complaints from patients in the past because of a personality conflict or attitude were found to make errors when performing surgery.
Pennsylvania residents who need to have medical treatment are placing their trust in their doctor and the facility. It is unfortunate that there are instances when that trust is misplaced and there is a mistake. While many errors do not cause damage to the patient, there are others that can lead to a worsening of the condition, injury and death. The Centers for Disease Control states that as many as a quarter of a million people die due to medical errors annually. Medical facilities have certain steps they are taking to try and reduce this number. It is important for patients to be aware of who is most at risk and what the dangers are to keep an eye on potential mistakes that might have injured or killed a loved one.
Pennsylvanians will often associate a dangerous misdiagnosis made by a medical professional with cancers, heart attacks, strokes and other life-threatening illnesses or conditions. Other medical problems can also be misdiagnosed and lead to the patient receiving the wrong treatment or medication that is not applicable to them. One such condition is asthma. A recent study indicates that as many as one in three adults who receive the diagnosis of having asthma might not have it.
Much discussion has been spread regarding medical mistakes and how they impact residents in Pennsylvania and other states across the nation. While it has been noted that fatal medical mistakes rank high when it comes to giving a number to the leading causes of death in the United States, it is more important to note how likely medical mistakes are and what are the likely types to impact patients in the U.S.