The most common reasons for malpractice in a healthcare setting include things like mistakes in medications or dosages, surgical errors, and more. In general, medical malpractice situations involve any instance where your healthcare provider failed to treat you according to a specific level of care that he or she owed you. Although doctors receive a substantial amount of training, they do not always treat their patients properly.
Here are some of the most common reasons for malpractice and how they may have impacted your health and well-being.
Failure to Diagnose or Delayed Diagnosis
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis are two of the most common reasons for malpractice. They involve a situation where a doctor failed to reach the appropriate diagnosis even though there was enough evidence or available testing to identify the right diagnosis. In some cases, the doctor may misdiagnose a patient and treat them for a condition they do not have.
If, for example, your doctor diagnoses you with gastritis and medicates you for it, but your symptoms never improve, there is a chance that it is the wrong diagnosis. You may seek a second opinion from another physician who performs a series of tests that your first doctor did not perform, which conclude that you have stomach cancer.
A delayed diagnosis is a situation where the doctor eventually reaches the right diagnosis, but by the time they have, your symptoms have worsened. If you are experiencing chest pain and the physician does not conclude that you are having a heart attack, you may suffer permanent and long-lasting injuries as a result.
There are many different ways that mistakes with our medications can cause us harm. There are nearly 6,800 different kinds of prescription and over-the-counter medications in the United States, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which means mistakes can happen frequently.
First, a doctor may prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong dosage. Alternatively, the pharmacy may make a mistake in filling the prescription and give you the wrong type or quantity of medication. There are also specific concentrations that medications sometimes have to contain in order to be safe and effective. A mistake in concentration can make you sick or cause permanent damage.
There are some situations where a patient is allergic to a particular medication. Doctors are taught to perform thorough evaluations of your health history in an attempt to identify any known allergies that you may have. A failure to do so can be life-threatening for someone who receives a medication they are allergic to.
Finally, a healthcare professional may provide you with the wrong instructions about when and how to take a particular medication. It is important to remember that medication errors can happen at the pharmacy or in your doctor’s office.
Errors During Surgery or Other Procedures
A surgical procedure can be nerve-wracking, especially if there are major consequences on the line, like healing a broken bone or treating a particular condition. While we are under anesthesia, we have no choice but to trust the people taking care of our health.
Unfortunately, there are many instances where someone on the medical team can make a mistake, and you suffer the consequences. These errors can include operating on the wrong part of your body, installing the wrong medical device or installing it improperly, or leaving equipment inside your body.
Anesthesiologists also can make mistakes. If you are not given the right level of anesthesia, you can wake up during the procedure and experience horrific pain. You could also suffer damaging long-term effects if you are given too much anesthesia. There are also some pre-existing conditions that could create complications when you receive anesthesia that your anesthesiologist should ask you about.
Poor Post-Op Care
The success of an operation or other procedure often depends on the quality of the care that we receive afterward. Monitoring a patient for things like infection after a procedure is critical but sometimes overlooked. If you had major surgery, you may also require physical therapy to ensure that you are healing properly.
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If you were hurt because a healthcare professional did not treat you with the right level of care, the outcome can be incredibly painful or even life-altering. The most common reason for malpractice is often carelessness or even recklessness, but you should not have to pay the ultimate price for the harm and financial damages that you suffer as a result.
The Fitch Law Firm LLC may be able to help you learn more about medical malpractice in Columbus and whether you may have a claim against the healthcare workers who hurt you. Time may be running out on your chance to seek financial compensation. Victims of medical injuries in Ohio have one year to file their lawsuit, according to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2305.113.
To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (614) 545-3930.