The truth is sometimes hard to swallow, but here it is: doctors are wrong more often than they care to admit. Their misdiagnoses and mistakes on the operating table can be deadly. Even though these mistakes are common, medical malpractice paid claims are not. For every one million residents in New York, there are only about 85 claims paid out each year. Part of the reason for this low number is because people do not always realize they were the subject of malpractice!
Here are a few of the most common warning signs of medical malpractice:
Waking up in surgery. Anesthesiologists have one of the most difficult jobs in the business. Calculating how much anesthesia to give a person going into surgery is difficult and based on a number of factors. These include the part of the body operated on, weight of the recipient, allergies, supplements taken, prescription drugs taken, alcoholism, smoking, etc.
Because these factors are sometimes impossible to accurately determine based on conversations with a patient, mistakes are common. If you wake up during surgery or feel any pain during an operation, you may be the subject of medical malpractice.
Unusual pain. You might be surprised how often surgeons leave instruments inside a patient. If you encounter unusual pain after an operation and it just will not go away, consider visiting a different doctor to ensure the last one didn’t make a big mistake.
Repeat Visits. If you repeatedly visit the doctor, you might be the subject of medical malpractice. This means that your doctor either failed to properly diagnose you in a timely fashion, or misdiagnosed you. This can allow a disease to fester longer and become more dangerous or even life-threatening. Many patients insist on a second opinion if they believe their symptoms are indicative of cancer or an equally life-threatening condition.
Incorrect Medication. When misdiagnosed, you may receive the wrong medication for your ailment. Sometimes this can result in the real issue becoming even worse. Even when that is not the case, you are still susceptible to side effects from the incorrect medication. Another situation that might arise occurs when a doctor prescribes you the incorrect dosage of a drug for the correct disease.
Consent. Doctors are not allowed to perform risky procedures or treatments without your express permission or the permission of your power of attorney. The only exception occurs when the patient is unconscious or a procedure must be performed immediately to save a patient’s life. If you were not properly informed of all the risks of a procedure, or a doctor performed a procedure without your permission, then you might have a case of medical malpractice.
Admission. Although it’s rare for doctors to admit their mistakes (for liability reasons), it has been known to happen on occasion. When they do, it’s important you know that you have the right to compensation for medical malpractice, and you should enlist the services of a competent lawyer.
When we undergo surgery, we expect our health care professionals to do everything correctly. This is their job after all. However, mistakes, unfortunately, do happen. If any of these mistakes happened to you or a loved, if they are due to negligence, then you might be able to file for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Foreign Objects Left In Patient’s Body
The most common surgical instrument left in a patient’s body are surgical sponges. But often other equipment such as scalpels, pads, gauze and clamps are left in patient’s bodies. Some might go unnoticed at first but can eventually lead to pain, infections and even death. To prevent this from happening there is usually a manual count for all equipment used in surgery but human error can happen when counting.
There are a myriad of errors that can occur with anesthesia. If too much is administered the patient can get too little oxygen to the brain causing damage and sometimes death. If there is too little given, the patient can wake up in the middle of surgery causing extreme pain.
Also Marijuana users beware. THC conflicts with anesthesia. It is important if you are getting surgery that the anesthesiologist knows that you partake in the substance so he can properly administer the correct amount of anesthesia. They will not he held liable if you wake up in the middle of surgery if you did not disclose that you were using the drug.
Prolonged Or Additional Injury
Surgery has its risks. One mistake by the doctor can cause additional injury, permanent disability or nerve damage. They might not even be able to adequately repair the initial injury. Other types of negligence by a surgeon could be wrong side (i.e. kidney stone removal from the left kidney but performing the operation on the right kidney) and wrong patient wrong surgery (i.e. paperwork mishap).
The legal definition of medical malpractice is as following: a healthcare professional (such as a doctor or nurse) or a healthcare facility (such as a hospital or nursing home) through the act of negligence causes harm or injury to a patient.
What is Medical Negligence?
There are several different kinds of medical negligence including but not limited to:
failure to diagnose ailment (missed diagnosis)
diagnosed wrong ailment (misdiagnosis)
misred lab or test results
improper medication or dosage
Characteristics of A Medical Malpractice Case
Under the law, in order for a case to qualify to be tried as a medical malpractice case the following conditions need to be met:
Establish that there was a breach in the standard of care. Medical professionals are held to a certain standard to perform reasonable and acceptable medical treatment. If these conditions are not met by any of the things listed above, negligence might have occurred.
The breach in the stands of care caused an injury. If the healthcare professional breached the standard of care but no injury occurred, then the case is invalid. It is up to the patient and their attorneys to approve that an injury occurred as a direct result of the negligent actions of the healthcare professionals or facility.
The injury sustained resulted in damages. It is also not enough to have just sustained an injury. The injury must have caused severe enough damages to the patient that part of their life was impacted in a significant way such as being unable to work or requiring lifelong medical treatment.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional then it is in your best interested to get in touch with our medical malpractice immediately by filling out the contact form. Our team of medical experts and legal professionals will go over the aspects of your case and work with you to get the compensation you deserve.