As much trust as we place in our doctors, they are human too. Even in the realm of medicine and treatment, mistakes happen and the consequences can significantly impact a patient's life. Luckily, it is possible to be compensated for medical malpractice if this happens.
Here are 5 circumstances of medical malpractice that could be cause for legal action, and the reasons they are harmful to the patient.
1. Failure to test reasonable possibilities of illness/condition
When testing you for a diagnosis, doctors should be keeping a list of what your condition could be. Even if one cause seems the most likely, a doctor should reasonably explore other possibilities of what could be causing your symptoms.
Failing to check the other possibilities on the list might result in a misdiagnosis. If that happens, other problems can follow, such as incorrect prescription or misguidance on how to medically proceed next. Victims of medical malpractice may be able to sue a doctor on the grounds of not being reasonably tested for other conditions that were or should have been listed based on the symptoms present.
2. Incorrect prescription or dosage
Incorrect prescription can happen for a number of reasons, but is most common if a patient is misdiagnosed. A doctor may prescribe the wrong medication, thinking they know the patient's condition, and it may cause bodily harm or other internal problems. A doctor may also prescribe the wrong dosage amount if the diagnosis was incorrect.
An incorrect prescription can simultaneously cause more problems and fail to treat the previous medical problem. Both of these are grounds for compensation.
3. Dismissal of symptoms
Sometimes a doctor may dismiss symptoms as temporary or too minor to be real cause for concern. However, if a doctor dismisses symptoms that are later discovered to be due to a greater problem, a patient can take legal action. Dismissing symptoms can cause a condition to worsen if it is not treated right away. This is considered malpractice, as the doctor is responsible for testing what the patient's condition could be and taking appropriate medical action to treat it.
4. Surgical errors
While many surgeries go very smoothly, there is still room for error just like any other aspect of the medical field. Some possible mistakes include a surgical tool being left behind in the body, operating on the wrong site, or improper use of anesthesia.
Any surgical error has the potential to cause serious damage or future medical problems for the patient. If any type of surgical error happens, a patient may be able to recover compensation for damages and malpractice.
5. Failure to keep area properly cleaned
Health care-associated infections (HAI) are a much larger problem than people realize. According to the CDC, one in 25 patients will get a health care-associated infection every day.
Infections can happen for several reasons, namely improper sterilization of tools or improper cleaning of operating/treatment areas. Infections can cause a great deal of damage and suffering to a patient, and create a need for further medical attention to treat the infection in addition to the other medical issues the patient was already being treated for.
In any instance of medical malpractice, you can contact an attorney for a free consultation about your situation and how you should proceed next.