Patients who count on their medical team to provide them with optimal care might balk at the idea that they could receive substandard care. Medical negligence and malpractice are serious issues in this country that are often overlooked. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that some people view doctors as infallible.
Anytime you to go to the doctor, you need to remember that they are only human. They might have an education and specialized training, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t make errors. Some doctors make errors because they don’t pay enough attention. Others might do this because they rush. In any case that involves a medical professional not making the correct choices, the patient is the one who can suffer. Keeping different forms of malpractice in mind when you seek medical care can help you to spot potentially problematic issues.
Issues with diagnosis and treatment
In order to get the correct treatment, you need an accurate diagnosis. The trouble is that you might end up with a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. A misdiagnosis means that you don’t have the proper diagnose for what is really wrong with you. A delayed diagnosis means that the doctor didn’t diagnose your condition within an acceptable amount of time.
Both of these issues could allow your condition to worsen, sometimes to the point where permanent damage is done. In the case of cancer, it could spread freely and to the point where treatments won’t work. A heart attack that isn’t diagnosed and treated promptly could lead to death. A stroke that is left undiagnosed might lead to permanent disability.
Surgical errors and failed procedures
Surgical errors include things like improper anesthesia, items left in the patient, doing the surgery on the wrong patient or area, and failing to monitor the person after surgery. All of these can lead to long-lasting medical issues that may require intensive and invasive procedures to correct.
A failed procedure is one that doesn’t do what it was meant to do. While most procedures have a chance of failing, avoidable errors have no place in surgery.
Labor, delivery and birth injuries
Pregnant women need to be monitored carefully throughout the labor and delivery process. The baby must also be monitored, so there are actually two patients during this time. Problems with either patient must be addressed immediately. While birth is a natural process, there are signs that nurses and doctor need to watch for so that they can act when the situation warrants it. For example, a baby with a low heart rate might need to be delivered immediately, but failing to watch the fetal heart rate monitor could cause the medical team to miss that important sign.
For the people who are harmed due to medical malpractice, seeking compensation is an important step to take. No victim of malpractice should be left on their own to cover the costs associated with the error.