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Is medical malpractice more common in rural areas?

Medical malpractice can take a variety of forms and affect patients in a range of different ways. Some instances can be easily addressed and resolved while others have deadly consequences. Many factors impact such incidents, and environment is certainly one of them. It is worth wondering: Is medical malpractice more likely to occur in rural health care facilities?

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, when medical malpractice premiums go up, the number of rural physicians tends to decrease. This statistic does not necessarily prove a correlation between rural environments and medical malpractice, but consider the following errors that rural patients may be vulnerable to:

Injury during birth

Injuries during birth are a common form of medical malpractice. Both mother and child are particularly vulnerable to being hurt, and a single mistake can cause a lifetime of consequences. Birth fractures, hemorrhaging and ruptured placentas are just a few of the injuries associated with medical malpractice that occurs during the birthing process. 

Misdiagnosis

One of the most important responsibilities a doctor has is to diagnose the conditions and illnesses that patients experience so that they can receive the proper treatment. Too often, though, physicians diagnose hastily or disregard the symptoms that a patient reports. The result can be a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose, and this can be extremely dangerous. It is vital that health care providers ensure the accuracy of their diagnoses and the treatments they prescribe.

Surgical errors

If you need to undergo surgery, you may be understandably nervous. Surgery is a major medical event, and it likely will not ease your mind to know that many surgical errors are committed every year. Surgeons are susceptible to exhaustion, confusion and any of the other human elements that can cause a mistake. When a mistake happens in surgery, though, it can permanently damage your health and wellbeing.

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