Today’s blog is about 3 categories of medical mistakes that may give rise to a medical malpractice claim. The NPR reported that these mistakes are the “third leading cause of death in America.”
Errors in Diagnosis
If you are misdiagnosed, there are many ways this can cause you harm. You can go for long periods of time without proper treatment; you may have received treatment for something you did not need; and your condition could have worsened or spread in the time you spent waiting for the correct diagnosis. This is not to say that every time a condition is misdiagnosed, it qualifies as malpractice. Not all misdiagnoses result in harm, of course. For instance, a diagnosis may be missed by one doctor today, but another doctor finds the correct diagnosis tomorrow. Often, the patient is no worse off, and this would not give rise to a compensatory claim for medical malpractice. But sometimes, these misdiagnoses can result in great harm, or premature death.
Prescribing Wrong Medication
If a patient is prescribed the wrong medication, it can kill them. In some cases, the correct medication for a specific condition may cause complications when mixed with other drugs the patient is taking. Doctors might prescribe a medication that has adverse side effects for that patient, just as a pharmacist can fill a prescription with the wrong medication.
The New England Journal of Medicine estimates that over 100,000 emergency room hospitalizations of people over age 65 are caused by adverse side effects. Physicians are responsible for knowing what complications the drugs they prescribe carry and failure to use this knowledge could be considered malpractice.
There are multiple possibilities that can go wrong when a patient undergoes surgery. Many of these are preventable. Wrong-site or even wrong patient surgical errors can occur when a physician performs surgery on the wrong patient or the wrong body part of a patient.
Other surgical mistakes include leaving foreign objects inside a patient, infections, and even patients sustaining falls while unconscious.
If you or a loved one has suffered physical or mental injury due to a medical mistake, an experienced lawyer should evaluate your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878) for more information.