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.