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.
When we go to the doctor or hospital, we as patients expect medical professionals to initiate a treatment plan. For most patients in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, this often means being prescribed a medication. While medications are available, it is possible that certain ones could result in a patient suffering a worsened condition. In addition, if a doctor makes a medication error and a patient is given the wrong dose or wrong medication, this could mean serious health issues or even death.
Going to the doctor is not always a big deal. Many people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere visit their primary physician each year for a yearly checkup. While preventative medicine focuses on certain healthcare areas, a patient should always be able to rely on their medical professional to diagnose and treat them whether it is during a yearly check-up or for ailments they are currently suffering. Failing to make a proper assessment can not only lead to a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis, but it can also mean delayed treatment and a worsened condition.
It is an uncomfortable feeling -- knowing that there is something wrong with your health but fearful of knowing what it is. Residents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere rely on medical professionals to not only determine what is wrong with us but also to determine what the best course of treatment is. But a treatment plan is only as good as the diagnosis it is based off of, and when a doctor fails to properly diagnose a patient, he or she could suffer due to the wrong treatment plan and a delayed diagnosis.
Individuals in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are aware that medical professionals are required to fulfill educational and residency experience before he or she is able to treat patients. While medical professionals go through years of education and on-hand experience, rigorous training and education do not always prevent medical errors. In fact, the structure for medical and surgical residents could be groundwork for medical mistakes.
A cancer patient presented to the University Hospital Coventry in England to have her kidney removed as part of her cancer treatment; tragically, the mother of three passed away two days after the operation. The woman allegedly died due to a medical error in which the blood supply from two arteries was cut off, which was not supposed to be a part of the procedure. This fact was never reported to the woman's family. The family only learned of these allegations after BBC received an anonymous tip and informed the family. In addition, the hospital reportedly did not report any error to the coroner's office. The hospital wrote to the woman's family and apologized "for the distress that they have suffered." The hospital also said that the coroner was immediately notified of the death in a detailed report. The coroner's office, however, stated that "the hospital did not make the coroner aware of any surgical error at the time of death or subsequently until the matter was brought to the coroner's attention by solicitors for the family."