You go to your doctor or the hospital because you are sick or injured, and you put your trust into the care of medical professionals. While to err is human, there are instances where medical mistakes can lead to serious injury or worse, death. According to NPR, medical malpractice errors are now the third-leading cause of deaths in the United States, making it even more important that consumers are aware of these errors.
Medicine is a diagnostic process, and one that requires a physician to use everything at their disposal to come to the right conclusion. And, doctors are allowed a little room for misdiagnosis. After all, human beings are not computers that can be downloaded and diagnosed quickly. But, if a physician fails to act or fails to take proper steps during the diagnostic process, they could be held liable for malpractice.
For example, failing to consider the patient’s real diagnosis or not using additional tests to rule out other conditions are diagnostic issues that can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A misdiagnosis is serious. Not only can a patient go several months without proper treatment, but they could be hurt further by receiving an unnecessary treatment. And, as their condition worsens (due to a misdiagnosis), the damage could be worse.
Prescription and Medication Errors
Prescription errors come in many forms, but they are definitely no simple mistake. Prescribing the wrong medication to a patient could be fatal and even prescribing the right medication, when mixed with other medications, could cause serious medical complications.
It is not just doctors who prescribe or administer the wrong medications; pharmacies can also be at fault. But, these types of errors may be considered medical malpractice, especially if the responsible party did not:
- Verify the right medication was distributed;
- Make sure the patient was not taking any other medications that could affect the drug prescribed;
- Verify the patient did not have an underlying allergy or condition;
- Take the time to properly diagnose before administering medication.
There are some instances where prescription errors are from the drug manufacturers too, such as the infamous civil lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies in California this year.
The operating table is an unknown territory for even the most skilled surgeons. After all, things can go wrong and that is not necessarily medical malpractice. But, there are times things can be prevented, such as the issue with Joan Rivers. In some cases, surgeons may accidentally operate on the wrong patient or perform a critical error on the right patient, such as removing the wrong leg. Other surgical malpractice mistakes can include, but are not limited to:
- Leaving objects and/or medical instruments in the body
- Infections due to inappropriate sanitizing
- Patient falling from the table while unconscious
These mistakes can cause long-term, irreversible damage and some instances, death.
Call West Palm Beach Lawyer if You Have a Case for Medical Malpractice?
While it may seem difficult to prove a physician was negligent, if a doctor or surgeon’s negligence lead to injury or death, you may qualify for a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice mistakes leave long-term damage for patients and their loved ones. But, medical malpractice lawyer West Palm Beach can help you receive the settlement you deserve to help cope with the additional medical care, losses, and pain and suffering.